2 February 2021 By James Itodo
Facts have emerged that out of the 72,000 registered Medical Doctors in Nigeria only about 35, 000 are practising .
The ridiculous number of practising Medical Doctors in a country of about 200million and other challenges bedevilling the health sector, have perpetually made maternal and pre- natal mortality remained high.
Senators and some other stakeholders in the health sector made this observations during the Public Hearing on Bills seeking for the establishments of health Institutions, Councils and Development Fund organised by the Senate Committee on Health.
The sponsor of the bill seeking for establishment of the Federal University of Health Sciences in Otukpo Benue State, Senator Abba Moro representing Benue South said Establishment of the University was necessary to add to the existing ones for training of more medical doctors as their number in the country presently is extremely low compared to the large population seeking for healthcare services.
“From available statistics, we have 72000 registered medical doctors in Nigeria and out of this only 35, 000 are practicing.
“The implication is that only that number is superintending over the health of over 200m Nigerians.
“According to senator Morro ,this is ridiculous for a country in the 21st century. It is scary. By 2017 JAMB declared that of all the Nigerian children that applied for medicine and other allied programs, they could only admit 20%, meaning that 80% of Nigerians waiting to read medicine were left out because they don’t have space.”
Senator Morro explained that the University of Health Sciences would bridge & create more spaces for Nigerian students to read medicine and other allied sciences in the medical line.
“I think this bill is very significant,establishment of the institution is also very important, at the end Nigerians will benefit from it and it will improve our health sector ” , he said .
Making similar submissions, the Director / Head , Family Health Department Abuja , Dr Awas – Kolo , said as a result of inadequate manpower in the sector and required facilities & equipment, the high rate of maternal and pre- natal mortality in the country had remained so within the last ten years .
Accordimg to her, while the country records about 50,000 maternal mortality on yearly basis , 39 out of 1,000 women die at the pre- natal stage .
In his remarks , the Chairman of the Committee, Senator Ibrahim Yahaya Oloriegbe appealed for synergy among health practitioners as no single profession in the sector can do it alone .