Africa Short of 5.3m to Meet Global Needed Healthcare Workers of 10m, Says WMA President

Africa Short of 5.3m to Meet Global Needed Healthcare Workers of 10m, Says WMA President

Adibe Emenyonu in Benin City

The immediate past president of the World Medical Association (WMA) Dr. Osahon Enabulele, has said that Africa alone is short of 5.3 million out of the 10 million globally needed healthcare workers.

Besides, he said that all that is needed by governments in Africa to scale up its health sector is to dust previous suggestions and implement them rather than continuously calling for opinions.

Enabulele stated this yesterday at the Benin City, Edo State, when he was received after his successful tenure as the WMA president and handed over to the new leadership in Rwanda a few days ago.

He said: “What we have been preaching over time in terms of building resilient healthcare systems has now been accepted as a reality.

“That’s more important for us in Africa where we have very fragile healthcare systems. Along with that is the issue of building a resilient health workforce. You cannot have a healthcare system that does not boast of the requisite number of healthcare workers.

“Africa today has a deficit of about 5.3 million healthcare workers to be in a serious position to attain universal health coverage. Globally, we need 10 million more workers but out of this, 5.3 million workers are needed in Africa so in the light of the huge brain drain we have more responsibility to ensure that our governments are taken to account to build more retentive mechanism to ensure that our own healthcare workers, physicians and other health professionals stay in their countries rather than encouraging them to move because of the very indecent working conditions that we have.”

He said that there is a need for African countries and governments to create an enabling working environment and competitive wages for medical workers to check health care workers’ migration from Africa.

Enabulele said: “The Nigerian government does not need to reinvent the wheel, the solutions have since been there, all they need to do is to dust up the files and get on board those progressive solutions and advice that have been given to them a long time ago. I was a member of the 2014 national conference and we also advanced progressives policies to transform not only the health system but the Nigerian state but we have more often than not been an observance of these resolutions in the breach.”

He said his tenure as WMA president has proven that Africa has what it takes to be heard globally.

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