Abia Moves to Counter ‘Japa Syndrome’ in Health Sector By Producing More Nurses

Emmanuel Ugwu-Nwogo in Umuahia 

With the shortage of personnel engendered by the pervasive relocation to western countries, popularly called  ‘japa syndrome’ in the health sector, Abia State has adopted the collegiate system to produce more nurses. 

The state Commissioner for Health, Dr Ngozi Okoronkwo, told journalists in Umuahia that with the collegiate system, Abia would be able to produce adequate number of nurses on a sustainable level. 

She stated that by producing more nurses, the effect of japa syndrome would be erased and Abia would even have enough to export as “the nurses we produce meet global standard”. 

The import of this development, she explained, is that Abia would now have a College of Nursing Aba while all the existing government-owned nursing institutions become campuses of the College with a Provost in charge. 

According to her, the collegiate system would “help us take more nurses” for training by increasing intake ftom 200 to about 600 so that in a year about 1000 nurses would be turned out. 

She said: “We are at the 80 per cent stage where we are about to start the collegiate, meaning that it would allow us to increase intake of nursing students and train more nurses. 

“With the ‘japa syndrome’ going on, production seems to be the only way out as this will ensure that we are not short of health workers in the state,” she said. 

The Abia health commissioner disclosed that the Nursing and Midwifery Council of Nigeria has granted approval for the State Ministry of Health to commence training programme in community nursing. 

She said that the special nursing training programme would make it possible for communities that lack nurses to be identified and their people sent for the training 

Okorokwo noted the special training, which would run for 12 months would be deployed to work in underserved community health facilities across the state. 

She further hinted that the special nursing training course could serve as entry point for those intending to proceed to the Nursing College. 

Okoronkwo reeled out the new developments in the Abia health sector, saying, “we are excited anout what is going on in our health sector”. 

She announced that the United States Center for Disease Control has selected Abia among the states for its pilot programme focused on intensifying the campaign against HIV and enhancing healthcare delivery. 

Okoronkwo explained that the inclusion of Abia in the programme would assist the state government to further strengthen the healthcare delivery system.

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