Nigeria’s Minister of Health and Social Welfare, Muhammad Pate, has expressed concern over the country’s loss of trained health professionals to developed countries. Speaking at the 77th World Health Assembly in Geneva, Switzerland, Pate noted that this brain drain is weakening health systems in developing countries like Nigeria.

According to Pate, over 5,000 Nigerian medical doctors migrated to the UK between 2015 and 2022, seeking better working conditions and quality of life. This trend is not unique to Nigeria, as many developing countries face similar challenges in retaining their trained health professionals.

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Pate emphasized that this brain drain is partly due to the lack of investment in health education and infrastructure in developing countries. He urged developed countries to support efforts to strengthen health systems in developing nations, rather than poaching their trained professionals.

The minister also highlighted Nigeria’s efforts to improve its health system, including increasing domestic financing, expanding primary healthcare, and retraining frontline health workers. He called on international partners to support these efforts and align with Nigeria’s priorities.

Pate’s remarks come as the World Health Assembly gathers to discuss global health issues under the theme “All for Health, Health for All.” The assembly aims to address challenges such as health poverty, pandemics, and health inequities.

In his address, Pate emphasized the need for global solidarity and investment in health education and infrastructure to address these challenges. He urged countries to work together to build strong health systems that can respond to emerging health threats.

Nigeria’s experience is a stark reminder of the need for global cooperation in health. As Pate noted, no country can be an island in today’s hyperconnected world, and the gap between rhetoric and action cannot be louder at the global level. It is time for countries to come together to address health inequities and build a healthier future for all.