The founder of Eko University of Medicine and Health Sciences, Lagos, Dr Ibraheem Hameed, has said Nigeria’s manpower in the health sector is inadequate.
Hameed made this known, during the second matriculation of 36 students in the institution.
He explained that the 34 medical schools in Nigeria were not enough to produce professionals who would be able to attend to the over 200 million people in the country.
He said, “With 34 medical schools in place, it may be asked if there is any need for additional medical schools Nigeria. The answer is an emphatic yes. Based on our current population of about 200 million, with a 3.5 per cent annual growth rate from the 2006 census (National Population Commission, 2017), our country is grossly deficient in medical doctors and other health professionals including pharmacists, physiotherapists, nurses, laboratory scientists, etc. “Our health manpower level is so poor that the latest World Health Organisation performance rating places Nigeria 187th out of 191 nations! Far from the WHO recommendation of a minimum of one doctor to 600 patients, Nigeria has a ratio of one doctor to 6000 patients. The country needs more than 303, 000 doctors to meet the WHO standard, and at least 10,605 new doctors annually to join the workforce(NOIPolls. Abuja August 3rd, 2017).
“ Yet, of the 72,000 registered doctors in the country, only 35,000 are in active practice, more than 50 per cent are in diaspora. At the current annual production of about 3000 to 3500 doctors in the country, it would take nearly a hundred years to produce enough medical doctors for our needs. All medical institutions in the country are only capable of admitting, between 10 and 15 per cent, of the qualified candidates every year.”
He explained that it was in this regard he decided to establish EKOUNIMED to bridge the gap, adding that there was the need to establish more medical schools in Nigeria.
The Vice-Chancellor, EkOUNIMED, Prof Soga Sofola, said, “Students are assured of quality teaching by quality staff as well as conducive environment for learning and recreation. The medical programme is a very rigorous one and you are strongly advised to work very hard in order to attain good grades.”