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Brain Drain has affected the quality of health services in Africa – President Buhari

Nigerian President, Muhammadu Buhari who has over the years faced criticism for his unquenchable taste for medical tourism has decried the effect of Brain Drain on Africa’s health sector whist advising that, “there is no African development agenda without able-bodied Africans to execute our vision of transformation.”

In a virtual address, the President said the “flight of Doctors and Nurses to other continents” in search of greener pastures contributes to the poor health service delivery.

The President also touched on poor infrastructure as some of the major triggers for the mass exodus of health workers out of the continent.

Buhari made this statement during the ground-breaking ceremony for the construction of the African Medical Centre of Excellence (AMCE); a medical facility meant to cause a huge transformation in West Africa’s healthcare sector.

He was optimistic that, if operationalized, the facility will drive massive investment to the health sector. “The success of the AMCE will pave the way for future investments and partnerships in the sector while raising the local standard of healthcare and providing a blueprint for quality of services required to address Nigeria’s and Africa’s healthcare and economic challenges.” He said.

He added that, “the AMCE represents a return to fundamentals, and the understanding that there is no African development agenda without able-bodied Africans to execute our vision of transformation.”

Speaking further, the President noted that the poor quality of health services has led to high mortality rates as well as, increase in terminal diseases such as cancer and diabetes in the African continent.

“Cardiovascular ailments, cancers and haematological disorders have increasingly become matters of concern to public healthcare. These ailments are now the highest contributors to non-communicable disease (NCD) mortalities, representing more than 81 percent of all NCD deaths in West Africa.” He said.

He added that, “the World Health Organization projects that deaths on the African continent attributable to cancer and diabetes are expected to rise over the next 10 years. The rising NCD burden coupled with inadequate medical infrastructure on the continent threatens the future of our people.

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