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Expert laments manpower shortage in health facilities

A consultant and professor of Paediatrics Neurology at the Usmanu Danfodiyo University Teaching Hospital, Sokoto, Ahmed Hamidu has decried the building of health facilities across the country without adequate manpower.

Professor Hamidu who is a former Provost in the institution spoke on Saturday at the College of Health Sciences Maiden Scientific Conference and Alumni Annual General Meeting.

He said that the health system in Nigeria is relatively weak, leading to some of the avoidable challenges confronting delivery.

Speaking while delivering his keynote lecture themed: ‘Challenges of Health Sciences Education In The 21st Century’ with a sub-theme, ‘The Role of Alumni In The Development Of Institutions,’ Prof. Hamidu said, “Building expensive health facilities and procurement of medical consumables without the manpower to take charge is a waste of national resources.”

While speaking on the factors responsible for the country’s weak health institution, Prof Hamidu noted that it stems from the areas of education, funding, employment, and deployment of the health workforce.

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He mentioned the significance of every member of the health workforce, adding that they should be treated with respect.

While noting that Nigeria’s rising population has increased the country’s vulnerability to climate change, the health expert appealed to legislators in the nation to urgently make policies that will encourage the medical workforce to stay back and serve in Nigeria, rather than moving abroad.

Prof. Hamidu said, “Supremacy battle between medical doctors and health workers is a serious concern for attaining medical excellence in Nigeria.”

He however appealed to all alumni to be good ambassadors of their institutions.

Earlier in his opening address, the host and Provost, College of Health Sciences, UDUTH, Sokoto, Processor Sule Ahmed Saidu had stated that UDUTH College of Health Sciences comprises five Faculties, two advanced research centres that are integral to the college, and 34 departments, 8 undergraduate and several post-graduate degree programmes.

While noting that the hallmark of their relationship in UDUTH CHS is the industrial harmony, mutual respect, and dignity of labour in spite of professional diversity, Prof Saidu said products of the school compete favourably with other famous and reputable medical schools in the world over character, learning, professional competence and compliance with ethics.

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Giving his opening remarks, the chairman of the occasion, Dr Nasiru Sani Gwarzo who is the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, said that the government alone cannot fund almost every project, hence the need to look into the alumni strategy of getting things done.

On his part, the Guest of Honour, Dr. Yusuf Tanko Sununu, who is the House of Representative member, Yauri, Shanga, Ngaski Federal constituency, Kebbi State in a goodwill message opined that the health of Nigerians remains his priority as a Federal lawmaker.

Sununu further appealed to electorates to encourage progressive-minded people to be at the National Assembly.

Addressing the conference, the Chief Host and Vice Chancellor of Usmanu Danfodiyo University (UDUS) Sokoto, Professor Lawal Bilbis represented by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (DVC) Research, Innovation and Development, Professor Yusuf Saidu said, “‘Our approach to practicing medicals must continually change and evolve to meet the challenges of the 21st century”‘.

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The Chief Medical Director of UDUTH, Professor Anas Ahmad Sabir decried that doctors are massively leaving Nigeria.

“This is a very big danger for our hospitals. We cannot sustain medical expertise without manpower. Virtually, everybody in our nuclear medicine has gone abroad,” he said.



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