Menu Close

Brain Drain: Why more Nigerian nurses may relocate overseas –NANNM

Some Young Nigerian Nurses

*Michael Nnachi, President of National Association of Nigeria Nurses and Midwives, laments that over 75,000 indigenous nurses, midwives have emigrated overseas in five years due to poor wages and lack of decent work environments, disclosing that more yet desire to leave, if the incoming administration does not address their challenges

Isola Moses | ConsumerConnect

The incoming administration in Nigeria has been tasked on the pressing need to address recurring issues of low wages and salaries, poor working conditions, and shortage of staff confronting the nursing profession in the West African country.

This proactive measure becomes necessary, as there are possibilities that thousands of Nigerian nurses and midwives will relocate abroad in search of greener pastures, Vanguard report said.

Nigerian nurses revealed this, days after the National Association of Nigeria Nurses and Midwives (NANNM) raised an alarm that over 75,000 nurses and midwives have left the country in the last five years.

Michael Nnachi, NANNM President, was said to have stated this during recently, at the commemoration of this year’s international nurses week with the theme: ‘Our Nurses, Our Future’.

Nnachi said: “As a result of poor wages, and lack of decent work environments, over 75,000 nurses and midwives have migrated from Nigeria within a period of five years,” Nnachi said.

It is also recalled that President-elect, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, ahead of the 2023 Presidential election, had assured that his administration would introduce innovative policies that will overhaul the Nigerian important but currently ailing health sector.

Interviews with nurses from across the country after the event, and the majority insisted that comparing the nursing profession in the United Kingdom (UK), Canada, and other developed countries to Nigeria is like comparing honey to a bitter leaf.

The newspaper publication reported the medical practitioners said that they would grab the opportunity to travel and practise their nursing and midwifery profession abroad, if the incoming administration fails to address all deficiencies bedevilling the medical profession as a whole.

Simisola Mise, a senior nursing officer at the Federal Medical Centre, Abeokuta, Ogun State, said Nigerian nurses are suffering because “Nursing is no more hyped in Africa. Things are not favourable from salary to the proper working environment.

“We accept it because we don’t have much to say about it, as nurses are the lowest paid in government settings.”

In connection with her experience in the healthcare industry, Mise, related that “Nursing has been a wonderful profession from time immemorial, and I still find it to be an exceptional profession that deals with professionalism.”

How ‘Japa syndrome’ affects nursing profession  in Nigeria

As regards her own take on how ‘Japa syndrome’ (exodus of teachers, nurses, and students overseas) has affected Nigeria, Bukola Akinmolayemi, a staff nurse in Epe, Lagos State,  said reportedly said: “The workload on nurses is too high due to shortage of staff and the governments are not ready to recruit enough staff nurses.

“This poses an issue on the mental health of the nurses.”

She further said nurses embark on massive relocation to the UK and other countries because there is “more equipment abroad to practise with in order to ensure quality care rendered to patients. “Also, the value of our currency is not encouraging here in Nigeria.”

Mise also said: “Relocation is now a trend. We call it Japa! This trend is more favourable to health workers, especially nurses because the pay is three times better than what we earn in Nigeria and other African countries.

“There are good working conditions and other benefits that follow. Who would see honey and settle for a bitter leaf?”

Akinmolayemi as well stated: “I will be willing to travel abroad if I see the opportunity.

“The reason is that working abroad will help my nursing profession with a broader perspective and knowledge because each country has a unique healthcare system.”

Expectations from incoming administration

On her expectations from the incoming administration billed for inauguration May 29, 2023, Mise added the Federal Government should build good working environments, increase hazard allowances, motivate workers with bonuses, and increase nurses’ salaries, and I believe with this at least some people would reconsider relocating abroad.

Akinmolayemi also added. “My advice to the incoming government is to recruit nurses, increase their salaries and provide more equipment for practice.”

Kindly Share This Story



Kindly share this story