NHW editor-in-chief Adaobi Ezeokoli, left, and EpiAfric policy advisor Ifeanyi Nsofor

By Ndidichukwu Odoh

The Nigeria Health Watch on Tuesday said a survey it conducted ahead of its 2018 annual “Future of Health” conference #BrainGain4Naija suggests that 9 out of 10 healthcare professionals in Nigeria would prefer to work in the diaspora.

It said already over 5,000 Nigerian healthworkers are working in the UK.

In a press conference ahead of the 2018 future of Health conference #BrainGain4Naija, Dr Ifeanyi Nsofor Director of Policy and Advocacy Nigeria Health Watch said Brain Drain has been a challenge to the development of the nation’s health sector, highlighting poor working environment as one of the reasons.

He said the conference hopes to catalyze action that will change the narrative and turn the situation to gain for the nation’s health sector.

On Thursday 18th October 2018, the conference will have participation from Nigerian diaspora health professionals in a room to discuss way forward towards private sector partnership in Nigeria.

“Though we are always talking about the brain drain problem, I want you to know that we at Nigeria Health Watch believe there is gain and a positive side to it, some of the Nigerians working in diaspora are back home and are doing well and contributing towards the development of our health sector,” Nsofor said.

He also stated that Nigerians must understand that the expertise they look for outside Nigeria is available in the country because most of those health workers are in Nigeria saving lives everyday.

Nsofor said there is need to the creation of enabling working environment for healthworkers especially those coming back to contribute towards the development of Nigeria’s health sector.

“We have to look inwards and ensure that the working environment is conducive and accommodating for them to return and contribute to grow health and make Nigeria the hub for health care in Africa,” Nsofor said.

The #BrainGain4Naija will also discuss possible ways to expand health insurance coverage to support the less privileged and expand access to quality health care services through collaboration with the private sector.