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Declare Brain Drain National Emergency Now, Medical College Tells FG

The National Postgraduate Medical College of Nigeria, NPMCN, has urged President Muhammadu Buhari to declare brain drain a national emergency and urgently reverse it through improving job opportunity as well as improve the work environment of medical doctors.

Addressing journalists on the forthcoming College’s 39th Convocation ceremony billed to hold 16th September 2021, the College President, Dr Musa Muhammed Borodo who disclosed that over 309 fellowships by examination from 16 faculties will be graduating regretted that the intended impact is rapidly being lost to developed climes to migration of doctors abroad.

“This year’s graduation ceremony brings to almost 7,000 the number of fellows by examination that this College has graduated since its inception thereby saving Nigeria billions of hard currencies was these highly specialised doctors to be trained abroad as was the practice before the inception of this College.

“However, it is sad to note that the intended impact of this effort in our national healthcare delivery system is rapidly being lost to other, often more developed climes, due the escalating monstrous phenomenon of brain drain we are experiencing in our dear country.

“We accordingly urge government to urgently reverse it while we also dispassionately urge the trained doctors as well as those in training leaving the country to show more patience and understanding about the situation at home as things improve.”

Speaking, on the third wave of COVID-19, Borodo lamented the level of vaccine acceptability in the country, adding that, the pandemic was still disrupting the socio-economic life of the world to varying degree from one region to another.

He said the research work presented at the recently concluded ASCAF of the College in Kaduna showed that the acceptability of the COVID19 vaccine is far from satisfactory in Nigeria even among health workers.

He urged the Federal government to step up public awareness campaign on the issue.

Stating that the convocation would award one distinguished fellowship, two honorary fellowships and 15 foundation fellowship from the Faculty of Emergency Medicine and 88 postgraduate MDs by publication, he aid top among the awards is the posthumous award to Late Dr Stella Adadevoh, a fellow of the College in Internal Medicine for her dedication to medical duty that took her life, but saved Nigeria an epidemic of Ebola Virus in 2014.

Two distinguished personalities -Alhaji (Dr) Aminu Alhassan Dantata and Dr. Babagana Zulum, the Executive Governor of Bornu State will also be recognised for College’s Honorary fellowship award for distinguishing themselves in leadership, administration, Captainship of Industry and philanthropy which have impacted positively on the educational, socio-economic and health status of a large number of Nigerians.

On residency training in Nigeria, he disclosed that as regulator of the Residency Training Act in Nigeria, the College has been further given the responsibility of making annual budgetary estimates for the allowances of all residents in recognised training in Federal government owned Teaching Hospitals and Federal Medical Centres.

Borodo expressed hope that the mandate, which they are already pursuing vigorously would allow government to annually adequately budget for these allowances thereby reducing the restiveness in the sector.

“I urge our sister West African Postgraduate Medical Colleges to be more forthcoming in turning in to NPMC all relevant data on residents enrolled in their training programs including the progress they are making in the exams. We appeal to residents to pay more attention to their training so that they can complete the program within the period approved for funding by government as spelt out in the Residency Training Act.

“We further appeal to government to continue to upgrade the training institutions consistent with College’s Accreditation criteria. At the moment there are many training institutions with partial rather than full accreditation for training due to this and other reasons which curtails the number of residents for training in the institutions at any material time.”

He said Simulation laboratory are also now encouraged in training institutions to supplement true clinical scenario, expressing hope that the various efforts would speed up the residency training in Nigeria to allow opportunity for more junior residents to join the training as and when due.

On the ongoing face off between the government and resident doctors, he appealed to striking resident doctors to go back to work, adding that the recently established health Sector reform committee will address the issues in the health sector.

Borodo also expressed hope that the government would also financially support the College to develop its six zonal simulation laboratories among others.

While commending the Rivers state governor, Nyesom Wike for giving them a plot of land for the building of their Simulation Centre, he appealed to Government, Fellows of the College and other well-meaning Nigerians and organisations to donate generously to the College simulation programme endowment fund designed to provide additional clinical skills to Nigeria’s consultants to be.

“Donations can be tied to further development of our central simulation laboratories here in Ijanikin Lagos or Abuja. They could also be targeted for the development of any of the designated zonal simulation centres referred to above,” he said.

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