At a commemorative event held by the Nigerian Nurses Charitable Association in the UK, the Chairman of the Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NiDCOM), Abike Dabiri-Erewa, engaged in a productive meeting with Nigerian nurses and midwives who are currently practising in the United Kingdom. During the gathering, she emphasized the importance of fostering a collaborative effort to transform Nigeria into a sought-after destination for medical tourism. Dabiri-Erewa urged everyone present to embrace the theme of the event, “Leading the Future Influencing Global Health”, as a guiding principle for their collective endeavours.
Abdur-Rahman Balogun, the spokesman for NiDCOM, released a statement on Monday containing the information. Dabiri-Erewa expressed her gratitude towards the nurses and midwives for their benevolent acts and encouraged them to persist in their endeavours. She acknowledged that President Bola Tinubu’s government was dedicated to enhancing healthcare facilities and practices in Nigeria. In addition, she emphasized the need for further cooperation through the establishment of partnerships to facilitate the exchange of knowledge, telemedicine initiatives, and programmes focused on transferring skills.
More collaboration is needed to transform the country.
Healthcare experts who are from Nigeria and currently live overseas have the opportunity to join forces with their local counterparts in Nigeria. Together, they can pave the way for the nation to become an attractive hub for medical tourists. A team of nurses and midwives situated in the United Kingdom stressed the importance of establishing a meticulously structured path between the governments of Nigeria and the UK. This agreement should particularly address the smooth migration process of healthcare professionals.
Wendy Olayiwola, the President of the association, emphasized the importance of their ongoing cooperation with Nigerian medical institutions, affirming their commitment to sharing their expertise. She emphasized the urge to establish additional platforms for networking and communication, aiming to cultivate a collaborative atmosphere that encourages the exchange of valuable insights and best practices. Also, Mayor Michael Situ of Southwark expressed his heartfelt appreciation for the Nigerian community residing in the United Kingdom, assuring them of his unwavering dedication to serving their needs effectively and efficiently.
The country’s healthcare infrastructure remains underdeveloped.
In Nigeria, the healthcare sector grapples with a multitude of obstacles in the form of medical tourism abroad, declining medical infrastructure, limited government funding, and a drain of talented healthcare professionals due to inadequate compensation and subsequent emigration. The country’s healthcare infrastructure remains underdeveloped and devoid of contemporary medical amenities. The healthcare indicators in the nation are among the most dismal in Africa. Its populace is rapidly expanding, exhibiting a noteworthy growth rate of 3.2% per year, accompanied by a remarkable average of 5.5 births per woman.
By 2050, projections suggest that the population of the nation will soar to 400 million, positioning it as the third most inhabited country worldwide. Surprisingly, there is a considerable shortage of medical practitioners, with a mere 35,000 doctors available, whereas about 237,000 are required, as stated by the World Health Organization (WHO). This scarcity can be attributed, in part, to the migration of healthcare professionals seeking opportunities abroad. The Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) estimates that Nigeria suffers an annual loss of no less than $2 billion due to medical tourism, with more than half of this amount attributed to India.
More advancement and technical know-how are needed in the sector.
Lastly, the Nigerian healthcare sector witnessed some investments by medical professionals residing abroad. These professionals establish specialized hospitals catering to individuals battling cancer, heart ailments, and renal issues. The majority of Nigerian hospitals continue to rely on old-fashioned paper methods for patient record-keeping. Consequently, a favourable market emerges for inexpensive, user-friendly electronic medical record (EMR) systems. The scarcity of medical expertise persists. Medical training and education services are needed for success while promising avenues are opening up in hospital administration, management, and consulting services. A number of pioneering Nigerian enterprises have recognized this prospect and are venturing into this domain.