The registrar of the Nursing and Midwifery Council of Nigeria, Faruk Abubakar, has revealed that at least 42,000 nurses have left the shores of Nigeria in the last three years.
Abubakar, in an interview revealed that the previous year had the highest figure, up to 15,000.
He made this known while reacting to the controversy regarding nurses’ certificate verification, according to The Nation.
Recall that some nurses on Monday, February 12, marched on the Abuja and Lagos offices of NMCN in protest over certificate verification. They urged the council to address concerns related to nurses’ welfare, salary scale, staff shortages, and other rights.
The NMCN, in its revised guidelines, introduced stringent requirements for certificate verification from foreign nursing boards, including two years of post-qualification experience. This further intensified the nurses’ discontent.
He stated that “42,000 nurses left the country in the last three years. Last year alone, it was over 15,000, the number is increasing year by year.”
On how to curb the ‘japa’ syndrome in the nation’s health sector, he said: “The Federal Ministry of Health is actively working to improve working conditions, allowances, and salaries for nurses.
“The FMoH and the honourable Minister of State (for health) are working hard to ensure a very conducive working environment, with the provision of state-of-art equipment, and instruments that will help them provide quality care for Nigerians.
“And I want to assure (you) that within a couple of months, a lot has been integrated and provided in 2024 that will improve the welfare of the nurses that we are talking about. When talking about the salary they are talking about, I think it’s a general phenomenon, and I believe it’s a general thing.
“There is a lot of progress that is going on to review the salary and nurses are also included in that policy. I think it’s a general phenomenon, all other sectors are also complaining, and the government is doing a lot.”