By Joseph Erunke,
THE federal government is to implement policy aimed at replacing medical personnel migrating to foreign countries for greener pastures,the Minister of Health,Osagie Ehanire, has said.
The development came as government claimed the country has no shortage of medical personnel.
The policy which Dr Ehanire called ‘one-for-one policy according to the minister, would enable the government to replace any medical personnel immediately the person is discovered to have left his or her beat.
The minister said this at a media briefing organised by his ministry to keep the public abreast of activities of the ministry in the past weeks.
Ehanire, claimed that the country does not have shortage of medical personnel because, according to him,workers because according to him, health workers graduate every year from Nigerian universities.
H said:“I have heard the complaints the doctors are leaving the system. But actually we have enough doctors in the country because we are producing a good number doctors every year. Just that the recruitment process needs to be smoothen.
“We are working with the Office of the Head of the Civil Service to have what we call one for one replacement. If one doctor resigns today, we employ one doctor. If its one nurse, we replace with one nurse. So, if we adopt it, we are not likely to have shortage.
“So, we are trying to have one for one policy to reduce to shortage of doctors in our hospital.”
Speaking at the event presided by the minister,the Director General of Nigeria Centre for Disease Control,NCDC, Ifedayo Adetifa, clarified that be there was no shortage of COVID-19 vaccines in the country.
According to him,what the country was in shortage of was ‘arms” to received COVID-19 vaccines.
The NCDC boss advised Nigerians get themselves vaccinated of COVID-19, saying the vaccines were enough to go for all eligible Nigerians.
He said,“Vaccines are available but there are shortage of arms to receive them not vaccine doses. Please tell people to present their arms so that we can have more uptake of vaccine.”
He advised Nigerians against being complacent in getting themselves vaccinated,as according to him,”COVID-19 is still very much around.”
He said: “More importantly, in order to protect ourselves and protect others, we need to ensure that we take public measures as recommended. Use of face mask, hand hygiene and physical distancing are appropriate.”
He spoke further:”In Nigeria, we have had 5,441,162 samples tested, 262,748 confirmed cases, 256,518 discharged cases and unfortunately 3,147 deaths.
“Top five states with the highest cumulative number of cases are Lagos, FCT, Rivers, Kaduna, and Oyo.
“In 2021, we had a high burden of cases compared to this year and in weeks past, some states have recorded increases in confirmed cases.
“Thankfully, we are at a phase in the pandemic where we can utilise COVID-19 vaccines to ensure reductions in the occurrence of severe infectious disease and hospitalisations. We have this, alongside other tools in our toolkit: wearing of facemasks, proper hand hygiene, proper respiratory hygiene – coughing into tissue – therapeutics to lessen symptom severity and testing.”
Giving update on COVID-19 response,the NCDC boss said,”We are engaging with partners to review the implementation roadmap for enhancing COVID-19 rapid tests and self-testing.
“Work continues as usual with our teams liaising with states for disease surveillance reports, contact tracing and other activities to prevent and respond to COVID-19.
“To address misunderstandings regarding wearing of facemasks again, these are encouraged, particularly indoors and especially for those which are not well-ventilated.”
He said,”As part of surveillance efforts, we are training community volunteers on active case search and contact tracing as well as carrying out monitoring and supervision of healthcare activities across health facilities.”