Work is ongoing on migration policy to curtail brain drain in the health sector, Dr Faruk Abubakar, Registrar/Chief Executive Officer of the Nursing and Midwifery Council of Nigeria, has said.
The registrar gave the assurance on Wednesday in Abuja at the 2023 Annual General Meeting/Scientific Conference of the National Association of Nigeria Nurses and Midwives (NANNM), Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Chapter.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the conference had theme: “Our Nurses, Our future”.
Abubakar, who was the guest of honour at the event, said that Nigeria was hard-hit by brain drain in the nursing profession, but gave the assurance that the country was working on its migration policy to overcome the challenge.
He spoke on: ‘Brain Drain in Nursing: Strategies to Ensure Resilient, Inclusive and Sustainable Nursing Workforce’.
Abubakar said that Nigeria ranked seventh among 57 countries facing a critical shortage of health workers.
“To curtail the situation, recruitment of more nurses is needed.
“If the government can provide the necessary facilities, welfare, adequate insurance for the nurses, better working environment, brain drain will be a thing of the past.
“Government should invest more in training of nurses; the government should take appropriate measures in tackling all the challenges.
Mr Ayuba Wanna, the immediate past President of the Nigeria Labour Congress, said that governments must look into workers’ salaries, particularly with the removal of fuel subsidy.
He said that nurses played a critical role in the healthcare sector and their entitlement must not be toyed with.
Dr Olusade Adesola, Permanent Secretary, Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA), said that the administration had strong support for nurses.
According to him, the administration is concerned about the welfare of FCTA staff which the nurses are a critical part of.
The keynote speaker at the occasion and Acting Dean, Faculty of Nursing and Allied Health Science, University of Abuja, Mrs Khadijat-Toyin Musah, said that there was the need to look into nursing education, noting that the gap between knowledge and practice was wide.
“We must go beyond theories. There is a disconnect between what we learn in school and what we are practising in the field.
” We must make sure there is no disconnect between theories and practicals. Nurses must be knowledgeable enough to command respect,” she said.
Earlier, Comrade Deborah Yusuf, Chairman of NANNM, FCT Chapter, called for provision of education and training opportunities for nurses.
She also urged that nurses should be well-equipped with the necessary tools to excel.
She also advocated improved welfare packages for nurses to motivate them.