Brain-Drain: Be patriotic, don’t flee from Nigeria, LASU VC, Health Commissioner, beg nurses

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From left, Guest Lecturer, (Chrisland University, Abeokuta) Prof. Prisca Adejumo; Commissioner 4, Lagos State Health Service Commission, Mrs Kemi Ogunyemi; Head, Indexing Unit, Nursing & Midwifery Council of Nigeria, Mrs Modupe Ayoola; Provost LASUCOM, Prof. Babatunde Solagberu; Representative, Vice Chancellor, Lagos State University (LASU), Prof. Raheem Akewushola  and Representative, Lagos State Commissioner for Health, Dr Funmi Shokunbi during the Induction Ceremony for the 2nd Set of Graduating Bachelor of Nursing Science Student, Lagos State University College of Medicine (LASUCOM) Ikeja, in Lagos on Wednesday (23/11/22).

….more than three quarter of graduating students set for offers abroad – VC

By Moses Adeniyi

Worried by the spate at which health practitioners are fleeing the Country, professionals and government stakeholders have called on Nigerian trained young and upcoming professionals in the medical line to be patriotic to the Country by staying behind to fight the challenges of the nation’s health sector.

The key stakeholders spoke at the induction ceremony of the 2nd set of Bachelor of Nursing Science Graduates of the Lagos State University College of Medicine, (LASUCOM), Ikeja on Wednesday.

On her part, the Vice Chancellor of the Lagos State University (LASU), Prof. Ibiyemi Olatunji-Bello in her remarks said though big opportunities exist for health practitioners in the Nigerian health system, yet they must be a “bit patriotic and professional”, despite the challenges informing health professionals fleeing the Country for greener pastures.

She lamented that while Nigeria keeps producing brilliant health professionals, more of them are enjoyed in other parts of the world, due to fleeing syndrome.

According to her, it was important for Nigerian trained health professionals to sit back to bear the challenges together, for the Country’s health system to be positioned better for all.

The Vice Chancellor who was represented by the Dean, Faculty of Management Sciences, LASU, Prof. Raheem Akewusola implored the new inductees to display passion, professionalism and patriotism, charging them more to sit back to ensure the health sector at home is repositioned for the good for all.

“I can only plead that you would be a bit patriotic and professional. Nigeria has always been training medical personnel for other Countries and I’m sure more than three quarter of those we are graduating would be having offers outside of this Country. But please there is no other place like home,” she pleaded.

“Among those of your core values are passion, professionalism, and patriotism. I hope and pray we will all be able to sit back, redefine and strategise in a manner that the health sector would be good for every one of us.

“If you all leave the Country, remember your families are equally here. I agree all is not well, but then we just must bear the consequences together so that at the end of the day, we would have a country that we would all be proud of,” she implored.

She charged the new inductees to practice responsibly as “flagbearers and good ambassadors of the College.”

In his goodwill message, the State’s Commissioner for Health, Prof. Akin Abayomi, represented by the Director Medical Administration, Training and Programme, Dr. Olufunmilayo Sokunbi, charged the inductees to be “compassionate, passionate and innovative.”

He urged the inductees to be considerate on needs of the health system in the Country, charging them to avail the nation of their professional practice.

Mentioning they are sent out to improve on the health system, he said they have a role to play, which according to him, with determination would impact the system positively.

“I want to join the Vice Chancellor and every one to say please let us work together to make Nigeria a better place. You have a lot of role to play in the health system. Be determined that as you are going, you are going to impact the health system,” he implored.

He congratulated the inductees, describing the feat as “a testament of hard work and sacrifices of overcoming challenges.”

He commended the leadership of LASU on the passion for academic excellence, expressing applause for the management of LASUCOM.

He said the new products are loaded and ready for work, imploring them not to flee the country “to make Nigeria a better place.”

In his address, the provost of the Lagos State University College of Medicine, Prof Babatunde Solagberu, said with the strides of the College, by 50 years it would have had successful products making stride across the World.

He said the College which is less than 24 years has graduated about 16 sets of which 897 medical doctors have been produced.

He said about 1,028 graduates from the College in a number of health specialisations have been produced, benefiting the health sector across the globe.

Speaking, the Chief Medical Director (CMD), Lagos State University Teaching Hospital, Ikeja, Prof. Adetokunbo Fabamwo, said the Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu led Administration has made provision for quarterly health hold replacement on which for every one doctor leaving the State’s public health system, two are replaced.

According to him, despite the fleeing syndrome “today LASUTH boasts of over 780 doctors, and over a 1000 nurses. It shows the innovation of Mr. Governor and those working with him.”

“What we do is that we are thinking without the box to ensure once they leave, they are quickly replaced. The Governor has given what is referred to as ‘a blank cheque’ to say that for every health worker leaving the State, employ two and that has worked for us and that is why service is still on going,” he disclosed.

Represented by the Director Clinical Services & Training/CMAC, Lagos State University Teaching Hospital, Ikeja, Prof. Debo Adekoya, he said to further boost capacity, the first set of 16 graduating nursing students were given automatic internship employment, saying the management is working to sustain the provision for successive products of the college.

He disclosed that the hospital side of nursing of the institution would soon get accreditation to commence A&B post basic nursing programme by the end of 2023.

The Guest Lecturer, Prof. Prisca Adejuwon, in her lecture titled “My Zenith in Nursing: Leaving a Professional Legacy”, said nursing as one of the oldest profession, which in the last 20 years is noted to be the most trusted and diversed among health professions, said the profession provides the inductees with wide range of opportunities.

Saying the factors responsible for health professionals fleeing the Country were key subjects of special consideration, she appealed to the inductees to stay put to the Country.

CongratulatIng the graduands on induction, into a profession of wide acceptability, she charged the inductees to “dream big”, focusing on how to make the world a better place.

Deputy Provost, Prof Olufemi Idowu, said the 28 inductees certified the requirement of LASU and the Nursing and Midwifery Council of Nigeria to be inducted as nurses.

Commissioner at the Health Service Commission, Lagos State, Kemi Ogunyemi who was presented with an elderly service award of excellence in nursing, said “nursing is wonderful if done well.”

The cancer nursing care expert of over 35 years experience said while leaving the Country could be vitalising to health professionals to gather knowledge and experience, but yet, they should endeavour to come back to avail their home Country of such experiences.

She charged the inductees to be resilient, open to learning, while wishing them successful future.

In her valedictory speech, the overall best student, Omoiegberale Favour, said they were prepared to benefit the society with the excellent knowledge acquired during the course of learning.