Nigeria Ranked 7th Among Countries Facing Shortage Of Health Workers

Nigeria Ranked 7th Among Countries Facing Shortage Of Health Workers, a data from The Nursing Council which revealed that there were 240,000 Midwives and Nurses altogether in Nigeria. Now Midwifery Service scheme is to be modified

Based on what the Minister of Health, Prof Isaac Adewole said, he stated that the country has a shortage of 144,000 health workers. However, Nigeria is ranked second in Africa behind Ethiopia with 152,000. Presently, the country boasts of 240,000 nurses and midwives and by 2030 the country will need 149,852 doctors and 471,353 nurses and midwives.

He spoke yesterday in Abuja at the occasion marking the International Day of the Midwife 2017, with the theme, “strengthening midwifery pre-service training in Nigeria “midwives, mothers and families: partners for life”

The minister said only 333,494 nurses and midwives and 99,120 doctors will be available by 2030. He made a warning that the shortfall will make the co try health system vulnerable if there is no quick and strong plan to tackle the situation.

The minister also linked to the high rate of child mortality and maternal in the country, decried the distribution of health workers in the country, which according to him was skewed in favour of urban areas, with more than 50 percent of the health workers.

He, however, promised Nigerians that the Midwives Service Scheme launched in 2009 will be modified to make it more effective, and as well ensure regular review of the curriculum of the school of midwifery in the country.

He said, “human resources for health issues in Nigeria adds to poor population health in the country, alongside infectious disease outbreaks, political corruption and threats from terrorism.

Health inequities within Nigeria mirror the geographical disparities in human resources for health distribution and are worsened by the emigration of Nigerian nurses to developed countries such as the United Kingdom and the United States. Nigerian nurses are moved to emigrate to work in healthier work environments, advance their careers and improve their economic prospects

“In 2006 the World Health Organization’s World Health Report defined 57 countries facing a critical shortage of health workers—those with fewer than 2.3 doctors, midwives and nurses per 1,000 population. Against that ratio, Nigeria reported a drop of nearly 40,000 shortage of health workers. The new data may show that Nigeria’s shortage is closer to 144,000—over three times the amount reported in 2006. This would be the seventh highest shortage of the 57 crisis countries. In Africa, only Ethiopia reported a higher shortage of health workers, about 152,000.

“Until now, records from the Nursing and Midwifery Council of Nigeria indicated that there were around 240,000 qualified nurses and midwives within the country. Additionally, given limitations in available workforce data within the country, the council’s data on active registration remain the most dependable proxy for determining the combined number of available and qualified nurses and midwives in Nigeria, across both private and public sectors.

“According to a projection estimates from scientific modeling by Adebayo et al in 2016, Nigeria will need approximately 471,353 nurses and 149,852 doctors by the year 2030. With the available growth rate of Doctors/Nurses, by this same period, only 333,494 nurses and 99,120 doctors will be available. This implies a drop of about 50,120 doctors and 137,859 nurses. This translates to 29.25% gap in nurses’ supply and 33.45% gap in doctors’ supply. This shortfall will make the country health system vulnerable if there is no strong and fast plan to tackle the situation.

’’Efforts have been made to make health workers available in the rural areas. About 60% of the states in Nigeria provide rural incentives to health workers that volunteer to serve in the rural areas, while others make rural service a condition for some critical promotion. There is the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) that is mandatory for all new university and polytechnic graduates in Nigeria. The introduction of national service for freshly graduated midwives will address some of the shortages of human resource in the country.”

Wife of the President of the Senate, Mrs Toyin Saraki in her goodwill message said the pittance of primary healthcare cannot be over stressed.

She said, “We cannot over stressed the essence of Primary health care in the delivery of cost effective and high impact health outcomes for our mothers and their babies, including strengthening health and health-related systems. We know that an effective and efficient PHC systems are one that can cater to between 70-80% of the healthcare and health service needs of people, and as close to the people’s living and working locations. The move to ensure the full functionality and revitalization of PHCs across Nigeria will also help cater to the professional needs of midwives especially in regions where mothers have been unable to have access to quality health care due to the absence of skilled health workers, shortage of health workers or distance.”