—Diasporans as keyplayers in the Future of Health Care in Nigeria
YBTC NEWS—In a bid to promote quality health care delivery, improve healthcare system and build a synergy through developmental relationship between healthcare professionals in the diaspora and in Nigeria, the Nigeria Health Watch in partnership with other key players has called on diasporans in the health sector to give back to their home-country, Nigeria.
The one-day conference organized by the Nigeria Health Watch held today, the 18th of October 2018 in Abuja, sought to address issues affecting the future of health in Nigeria with the theme- “The Diaspora as Nigeria’s Brain Gain”.
In discussing their respective motives for returning to Nigeria and challenges faced, guest speakers at the event identified -personal motivation, professional motivation, family support, the zeal to give back to their home-country, the need to fill the dicotomy in the health sector, all as major factors in their stride back to Nigeria.
While also pointing out key things to be noted by other healthcare professionals in diaspora aspiring to come back, the first guest speaker, Dr Olujimi Coker, a Chief medical director at the Lagoon hospitals Lagos said that, it may be difficult for specialized health professionals to settle back into the country due to the healthcare need in Nigeria. He thus highlighted that one needed to be an all-rounder, a good administrator, a bio-medical engineer as well as develop standard by Nigerians for Nigerians, all in order to succeed professionally in the Nigerian health sector.
Dr Atinuke Uwajeh, a Consultant Paediatrician added that, the scarcity of medications, the non-availability of well trained support staff, poor power supply has posed great challenges in quality health care provisions for diasporans in Nigeria.
Drawing attention to the need for Mental Health Act ; inadequate clinical psychiatrist, Dr Ukwuori-Gisela Kali, a Consultant Psychiatrist said, in order to sustain the future of healthcare in Nigeria, there is need for a reciprocal relationship of giving back to and gaining from Nigeria by creating a meaningful network.
Other Speakers included -Her Excellency Dr Zainab Shinkafi-Bagudu, founder of Medicaid Cancer Foundation and first lady of Kebbi state; Dr Fatima Kyari, a Consultant Ophthalmologist and founder of Community and Rural eye care (I care); Mr Temitayo Erogbogbo, a global director of advocacy at MSD for Mothers; Dr Chumy Nwosu, the Chief executive officer Lakeshore Cancer Centre; Dr Douglas Emeka Okor, a Consultant Neurosurgeon Zitadel medicals and and diagnostics Nigeria; Professor Rotimi Jaiyesimi, Secretary Medical Association of Nigerians Across Great Britain (MANSAG); Dr Sunmonu Olufemi, a Co-founder purple source Healthcare; Dr Olumide Okunola, a health care program manager international finance corporation.
The diasporans in the sector were also charged to set goals that matches the scale of their challenges rather than tackling all issues at once ; change their mind set and approach when coming into the country; not to make assumptions about the state of affairs in the country but rather develop an inquisitive attitude; ensure collaboration in creating sustainable healthcare development; carry the right attitude to work ;Remember whom they are working for, as Nigerian patients are worth it.
As stated by the first lady of Kebbi state, Dr Zainab, Nigerians in diaspora don’t necessarily have to come back home but we need to strengthen our bond and relationship so as to meet our developmental goals.#BrainGain4Naija
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