Population of Doctors in Nigeria Hits 74,543

Population of Doctors in Nigeria Hits 74,543

Onyebuchi Ezigbo in Abuja

The number of registered medical doctors in Nigeria has risen to 74,543.

According to the federal government statistics, as at 2018, the stock of professionally regulated health workers in the Nigeria health sector has also recorded significant increase.

The population equates to 36.3 percent of medical doctors per 100,000 population (doctor to population ratio of 1: 2753).

Fifty nine percent of the registered medical practitioners were in good standing with 35 percent being females.

While presenting the statistics at a one-day workshop on Nigeria Health Workforce for Universal Health Coverage organised by the Ministry of Health and the World Health Organisation (WHO) in Abuja, Deputy Director, Human Resource Department, Shakuri Kadiri, said there is a variation in the distribution of medical doctors by state of practice from the reported 2012 density.

He said: “The density of medical doctors presented is based on the number of doctors in good standing according to MDCN Register as of December 2018.

“The densities are not exhaustive as there is a strong possibility that many practicing doctors without current practicing licence may have been excluded.

“This necessitates the need to strengthen human resource information systems at national and sub-national levels to capture information on the stock by state and their age distribution for evidence-based HRH planning and management.”

Kadiri said in 2012, the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) had the highest density of 82 medical doctors per 100,000 population, whereas that of Katsina State reduced from 2.5 per 100,000 population in 2012 to 2.0 per 100,000, and Zamfara State increased marginally from 2.5 per 100,000 population to 2.7 per 100,000 population.

He also stated that registered dentists with the MDCN were 4,358 in 2018.

This stock equates 2.12 dentists per 100,000 population (a ratio of 1: 47,079 dentist to 100,000 population).

“Three thousand, one hundred and ninety-eight (3,198) registered dentists were in good standing in 2018 with 44 percent being females.

“There were nine accredited dental schools in Nigeria as at December 2018 which produced 172 dentists.

“Registered Nurses are 180, 709. This equates 88.1 nurses per 100,000 population (nurses to population ratio of 1: 1,135)

“Registered midwives are 120,870. This equates 58.9 midwives per 100,000 population (midwives to population ratio of 1:1,697). The density of midwives reduced by 1.7 percent from the 2012 density of 59.9 per 100, 000 population to 58.9 per 100,000 population in 2018,” he said.

Kadiri added that in 2018, 24,668 pharmacists were registered with the Pharmacists Council of Nigeria (PCN), and that that equates 12 pharmacists per 100,000 members of the population (pharmacist to population ratio of 1:8,317).

According to the director, there were 5,793 pharmacy technicians registered and it equates to 2.8 pharmacy technicians per 100,000 population (pharmacy technician to population ratio of 1:35,417).

The Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire, who spoke at the presentation of the medical workforce statistics, said the effort is part of the country’s response to WHO call to all nations of the world to strive towards the attainment of Universal Health Coverage and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) through the implementation of the Global Strategy on Human Resources for Health (GSHRH) 2030.

He stated that global strategy adopted by the 69th World Health Assembly in May 2016 was aimed to ensure universal acceptability, coverage and quality of health workforces within the strengthened health system.

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