President Bola Tinubu has expressed deep concern over the alarming rate of health workers leaving the country, describing it as “worrisome.” Tinubu pledged to take decisive measures within his capacity to reverse this trend, which he attributed to previous administrations.
The President conveyed his sentiments through his Special Adviser on Public Health Matters, Salma Anas, during the 2023 annual conference of the Association of Medical Laboratory Scientists in Abuja on Monday. The conference focused on the theme “Universal health coverage: The medical laboratories priority in Nigeria.”
Anas emphasized President Tinubu’s commitment to enhancing Nigeria’s health sector and addressing the “japa syndrome,” a term used to describe the exodus of skilled workers from the country.
“Part of our commitment is that we want to reverse that ugly trend and ensure that we sustain and retain our medical experts within the country through several interventions and measures,” stated Anas.
The President’s aide outlined the efforts being made to achieve this goal, including motivating health sector workers through regular payment of salaries, and allowances, and creating conducive working environments. Anas also mentioned plans to provide state-of-the-art medical facilities, particularly at the primary level of healthcare.
In addition, the government aims to produce more health workers across all fields to address the shortage and bolster the healthcare system.
Bassey Bassey, the National President of the Association of Medical Laboratory of Nigeria, highlighted ongoing efforts to combat quackery in the health sector. The association, in collaboration with other partners, has shut down unregistered laboratories to prevent incorrect diagnoses and other illegal activities. Plans are underway to manufacture essential medical items and equipment locally to strengthen the healthcare system in Nigeria further