We are here wishing ourselves well and dishing out prophecies for a healthy 2022 and at the same time our doctors and nurses are leaving the country en masse. There is hardly any doctor, who does not own a private clinic, that is not making plans of leaving.
Many have already left. There is no single nurse, that I have spoken with in the last few weeks, including married ones who is not making plans to abscond. As we are praying for a healthy 2022, majority of our medical practitioners’ one and only prayer point is for God to help them secure visas.
According to last years statistics, the ratio of doctor per patient in Nigeria (with a population of ca. 200 million) stood at 1:5, 000 as against the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) recommendation of 1:600.
If this exodus continues, it means that in 5 years the ratio will be something like 1: 100.000. I am really afraid how all our wishes and prophecies of a healthier 2022 and beyond will be fulfilled without adequate health workers.
I have continued to say it, unless this country is restructured or peacefully divided, nothing will prevent the coming implosion. It is only a restructured or divided Nigeria that can put a stop to this exodus of medical practitioners and that can guarantee a healthy society.
Fr Angelo Chidi Unegbu