By Asmau Ahmad
The National Association of Nigeria Nurses and Midwives (NANNM) have revealed that over 75,000 nurses and midwives left Nigeria within five years to seek greener pastures.
NANNM also decried the spate of insecurity in the country, particularly the rising cases of kidnap for ransom and violence against its members at the workplace while discharging their duties.
President of the association, Micheal Nnachi, who brought attention to the dire effect of brain drain on the association during this year’s international nurses’ week with the theme: ‘Our nurses, our future,’ said the day is meant for members to deliberate on issues that affect them.
He said, “International Nurses Day is important in the development of nursing; it serves as a medium where Nurses all over the world deliberate on issues affecting or preventing the achievement of the optimum standard in the profession.
“As a result of poor wages and lack of decent work environments, over 75,000 Nurses and Midwives have migrated from Nigeria within a period of five years.
“Shortage of nurses and midwives, especially in certain areas of specialisation and geographic region, the increased rates of attrition and a chronic shortage of nursing personnel in the country increased workloads on nurses without compensation, exposing them to more health hazards and compromised the quality of healthcare delivery.”
Also, the Vice President of NANNM, Israel Blessing, in her remarks said, “The 2021 State of the World’s Midwifery Report puts midwives’ shortage in Nigeria at about 30,000, which is six per 10,000 people.
“To close the gap by 2030, about 70,000 midwives’ posts are needed, but with current estimates, only 40,000 will be created by 2030. This shortage is particularly acute in Northern Nigeria where essential needs for maternal and reproductive health care are unmet.”
The Secretary-General and Registrar, Nursing and Midwifery Council of Nigeria, Faruk Abubakar said the nursing workforce is the world’s largest and biggest distinct profession in the healthcare industry.
He noted that it is germane in the delivery of the promise for health for all, adding that this was the summation of the International Labour Organization in 2008.
“For the world to achieve Universal Health Coverage, including Nigeria, the country must have the ability of the right nursing professionals at the right place, at the right time, and with the right skills to provide health services to secure the future of our populace,” he added.