Jane Smith
Tue, Sep 12, 2023 1:25 PM

Japa Syndrome: Brain Drain in Nigeria's Health Institutions

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Japa Syndrome: Brain Drain in Nigeria's Health Institutions
The Medical and Dental Consultants' Association of Nigeria (MDCAN) has expressed concern over the increasing brain drain, commonly known as "Japa" syndrome, in the country's health institutions. The association reveals that several departments in teaching hospitals are being forced to shut down due to the migration of specialist doctors. Approximately 500 doctors with teaching specialties have left Nigeria, creating a significant gap in healthcare services. MDCAN urges the government to address the issue urgently and provide incentives to retain skilled healthcare professionals.

The Medical and Dental Consultants' Association of Nigeria (MDCAN) has raised the alarm over the consequences of brain drain in the nation's health institutions, saying some departments in the teaching hospitals are shutting down due to the high rate of brain drain (Japa).

Newly-elected President of the association, Prof. Muhammad Muhammad, disclosed this while briefing newsmen at the end of MDCAN's 13th Biennial Delegates meeting and scientific conference in Kano. He lamented that no fewer than 500 specialist doctors with teaching specialties had migrated.

This alarming trend poses a significant threat to the healthcare system. The specialist doctors leaving Nigeria are highly skilled professionals, involved in teaching and nurturing new generations of doctors. With their departure, some departments are left with only one or two doctors to render services that should be provided by at least ten professionals.

Prof. Muhammad emphasized that it would take the country almost a decade to replace the number of specialist doctors lost due to brain drain. Nigeria's current rate of producing medical professionals falls far short of the number needed. He warned that if conditions do not improve in terms of infrastructure, working conditions, and security, it will be difficult to prevent others from joining the migration.

The challenges of brain drain in the health sector are not limited to Nigeria alone. Highly skilled healthcare professionals are migrating not only out of Africa but also to neighboring West African countries. This troubling trend compromises the availability of quality healthcare services in the region.

The association called on the government to urgently provide holistic solutions to combat brain drain. These solutions should include incentives that encourage the retention of the already depleted healthcare workforce in Nigeria. Improving infrastructure, working conditions, and security are crucial to prevent further migration of skilled medical professionals.

The impact of brain drain on medical education cannot be understated. The loss of specialists and trainers significantly reduces the training capacity of medical universities. Some universities are currently unable to train the required number of doctors due to a shortage of trainers. This situation threatens the quality of undergraduate and postgraduate medical training in Nigeria.

Concerted efforts should be made by the government to motivate and support the available healthcare workforce. By investing in their well-being and creating an enabling environment, the government can sustain and improve the quality of medical training in the country.

Addressing the brain drain issue in Nigeria's health sector requires urgent attention and collaboration between the government, healthcare institutions, and professional associations. Only through a collective effort can Nigeria retain and attract skilled healthcare professionals, ensuring the delivery of quality healthcare services to its citizens.

Source of content: OOO News 2023-09-12 News

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