Not less than 75,000 Nigerian nurses and midwives left the shores of the country in the last five years following the sweeping wave of “Japa’ syndrome, according to the National Association of Nigeria Nurses and Midwives (NANNM).
The Association which disclosed this at the 2023 International Nurses Week held in Abuja on Friday, said the nurses and midwives left the country as a result of poor wages, and indecent work environment in the sector.
The body also said insecurity in the country, particularly the rising cases of kidnap of its members for ransom, and violence against its members at the workplace while discharging their lawful duties, added to the emigration of its members.
President of the nurses association, Comrade Micheal Nnachi, who spoke on the the theme: “Our nurses, Our future,: said if the trend is not checked, more nurses will leave the country.
“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 specialization and geographic region, the increased rates of attrition and a chronic shortage of nurses in the country increased workloads on nurses without compensation, exposing them to more health hazards and compromising the quality of healthcare delivery,” he said.
Also speaking in the same vein, Vice President of NANNM, Comrade Israel Blessing, said:
“The 2021 State of the World’s Midwifery report puts the midwives shortage in Nigeria at about 30,000 which is 6 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.”
By Dachen Isaac