Nigeria ranked 7th among countries facing shortage of health workers

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Nigeria is ranked 7th among 57 countries classified as facing a critical shortage of health workers, it was learnt Tuesday
According to the Minister of Health, Prof Isaac Adewole the country has a shortage of 144,000 health workers.  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 be needing 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 preservice training in Nigeria “midwives, mothers and families: partners for life”
The minister said only 99,120 doctors and 333,494 nurses and midwives will be available by 2030.
He therefore warned that the shortfall will make the co try health system vulnerable if there is no urgent and concrete plan to address the situation.
This the minister also linked to the high rate of maternal and child mortality in the country.
The minister also decried the distribution of health workers in the country, which according to him was skewed in favour of urban areas, with more than 50 per cent of the health workers.
He however assured Nigerians that the Midwives Service Scheme launched in 2009 will be modified to make it more effective, while at the same time ensure regular review of the curriculum of school of midwifery in the country.
He said, “Human resources for health issues in Nigeria contribute to poor population health in the country, alongside threats from terrorism, infectious disease outbreaks, and political corruption.
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 States and the United Kingdom. Nigerian nurses are motivated to emigrate to work in healthier work environments, improve their economic prospects, and advance their careers.
“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, nurses, and midwives per 1,000 population. Against that ratio, Nigeria reported a shortage of nearly 40,000 health workers. The new data may indicate 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 152,000 health workers..."