Health body laments shortage of medical personnel
DIRECTOR General of the West African Health Organization (WAHO), Dr. Xavier Crespin has lamented the migration and growing shortage of skilled health workers in the region
He pointed out that the situation is already having negative effects on the health care delivery systems, particularly in rural areas.
He subsequently appealed to authorities of West African States to employ its members in sufficient numbers for them to exercise adequate surveillance over health related environmental conditions.
Crespin spoke at the maiden Congress of West African Postgraduate College on Environmental Health held at the Conference Centre of the University of Ibadan (UI) where some personalities across West Africa were invested and conferred with Honorary Fellowship of the College.
The headquarters of the College located in Ibadan, Oyo state has coordinators that have been working in semblance with the West African College of Physicians, the West African College of Surgeons, and West African Postgraduate College of Pharmacy among others whose membership consists of professional academics not below postgraduate degrees.
Represented by Dr. Joseph Olorunda, the Director General attributed some causes of migration of health workers, to “low wages and salaries that health workers receive, poor working conditions, inadequate incentive systems, outdated regulations and management approaches resulting in serious brain drain of skilled health staff both nationally and internationally.
According to Crespin, WAHO had contributed immensely from 2010 till date in West Africa through: “facilitation and mobilisation of the relevant stakeholders for the development and harmonisation of the basic training curriculum for Environmental Health, translated into the three official languages of ECOWAS and approved by the Assembly of ECOWAS Health Ministers; support to the establishment of the GEO-Health initiative of the University of the Gambia in partnership with the University of IOWA on Environmental and Occupational Health Research, among others”.
He appealed to authorities of ECOWAS Member States to assist the College as “the employment of this category of health professionals will ensure efficient and effective promotion of environmental health, both on a comprehensive and preventive basis. They would be seen as members of the multi-disciplinary primary health care team, supporting the delivery of comprehensive health care at the community level”.
The Registrar and General Secretary of the College. Ojewole, disclosed that the College has started turning bio-degradable waste products like nylons, plastic materials to economically useful finished products through recycling.
He solicited the support of Oyo State Governor, Abiola Ajimobi’s in this direction to make the state a neater and environmentally- healthier one.
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