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NMA: Brain-Drain, Poor Wages Increasing Infant, Maternal Mortality in Ekiti

NMA: Brain-Drain, Poor Wages Increasing Infant, Maternal Mortality in Ekiti

Victor Ogunje in Ado Ekiti

The Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) has described brain -drain and poor remuneration for medical workers, as the twin evils propelling infant and maternal mortality in Ekiti State.

Recently, the United Nations International Children’s Fund (UNICEF) released a startling revelation that Ekiti was one of the states in the south-west with highest incidences of maternal and infant mortality rate, as well as teenage pregnancy.  

Responding to the development, the NMA Chairman, Ekiti Chapter, Dr. Babatunde Rosiji, who spoke in Ado Ekiti, said: “Statistics by General Medical Council, which licences and maintains official register of medical practitioners in UK showed that 200 Nigerian trained doctors were licensed between August 31,2022 to September 30,2022.

“The statistics also showed that about 1,307 doctors trained in Nigeria were licenced in UK as Nigeria continues to battle one of the worst situations of brain drain in history. In overall, 10,296 doctors who obtained their degrees in Nigeria currently practice in UK.

“Every secondary health centres and specialists’ hospitals in Ekiti must have at least nine doctors, but the highest we have is two per hospital. We are supposed to have 276 doctors, but we have just 85. How do you expect us not to have high mortality?

“We need about 195 doctors to run the Ekiti State University Teaching Hospital, but we only have 95. Why should people blame doctors for the monster the government has created? For the primary health centre, we need 32, but only have 12 and four of them will be retiring soon

“Four local governments in Ekiti have no doctors to oversee their primary healthcare centres, which also contribute to high diseases index in the state.”
The NMA urged the state government to implement hazard allowance for medical doctors on its payroll, regretting that Nigerian medical practitioners have remained one of the poorly paid globally. He stressed that the trend must change.

However, the Chief Executive Officer, Gender Relevance Initiative Promotion (GRIP), Rita Ilevbare, appealed to the people to shun Female Genital Mutilation (FGM).
She described FGM and teenage pregnancy as two socio-cultural menaces that could be tackled through attitudinal change and virulent enforcement of appropriate laws in place.

The Child and Human Rights Advocate, said: “The fact that there is high teenage pregnancy in Ekiti shows that there was no correlation between the belief that cutting female genitalia makes women to be promiscuous.
“We must work hard to change our attitude and ensure that the female gender is protected against abuse and exposure to sexual pleasure, so that FGM practice and teenage pregnancy can reduce drastically.”

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