The World Health Organization (WHO) has listed Nigeria as one of the 55 countries that developed countries should not engage their health workers in active recruitment.
The global health body few days ago come out with a new safeguard list of 55 countries that are most impacted by shortage of health workers. While most of these countries are in low-medium income countries, 37 of the countries are in Africa and Nigeria is one of them.
Technical Officer Human Resource for Health in the WHO office in Nigeria, Dr Olumuyiwa Ojo, who disclosed this in Abuja, observed that the WHO is worried about the brain drain in Nigeria as it has serious impact on universal health coverage.
He noted that WHO has a code of practice of international recruitment for health workers, which is a general binding code for all countries. Ojo explained that the affected are countries that better developed countries should not engage in active recruitment of health workers from these countries.
He said: “It is a global market, health workers are free to move to where they will get better value for their work but we are working with governments to have policies in place for retention of health workers where they are needed most and also improve performance in terms of in-service training and other remunerations to improve their welfare. No matter how we build facilities, buy equipment, the equipment cannot do the jobs by themselves. In the UK where most Nigerians are going to, they are also losing some of their best hand to Australia and Canada where they pay are better. It is a global concern”.
Earlier, the WHO Country Representative in Nigeria, Dr Walter Mulombo, said as part of efforts to address the shortage of health workers, the organization will be leading a new initiative called Triple 25, which is a training programme aimed at training 25 per cent of nurses and midwives in 25 low income countries by 2025 for better health and better well-being for all.