SIFAX Group: Dr. Afolabi As Chancellor Advocates Review of Health Workers' salary to End JAPA syndrome

L-R: Vanessa Uansohia, Head, Corporate Communications, SAHCO Plc; Adegbesan Abiodun, Executive Director, Finance and Administration; Herbert Odika, Executive Director, Operations, SAHCO Plc; Dr. Taiwo Afolabi, Chairman, SIFAX Group and Chancellor, Gerar University of Medical Sciences; and Olumuyiwa Akande, Group Head, Corporate Communications, SIFAX Group during the investiture of Afolabi as Chancellor of Gerar University of Medical Sciences held at the university premises in Imope-Ijebu, Ogun State recently.

By: Bisi Akingbade
Chairman, SIFAX Group, Dr. Taiwo Afolabi has called on Nigerian government to improve the remuneration of health workers in the country in order to stem the tide of migration of doctors and other health workers out of Nigeria.
Speaking at his investiture as the Chancellor of Gerar University of Medical Sciences, Imope-Ijebu, Ogun state, Afolabi said this mass migration of health professionals, especially doctors and nurses, out of Nigeria known as Japa has negatively affected the country’s health care delivery.
He said that the ugly trend must be frontally tackled by the government and further noted that aside from the provision of modern equipment and tools at public health facilities across the country to improve service rendered, priority attention must also be devoted to the welfare of these dispirited health professionals who are left in the country.
He said: “Many of our competent medical hands have been lost to countries like the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, and Australia among other developed economies where sufficient encouragement in terms of remuneration, modern work tools, and a conducive working environment have been provided to attract talents from all over the world. 
“This migration by young Nigerians has negatively affected almost every sector of the country, but it is safe to conclude that the health sector has been the biggest victim of this JAPA syndrome. The few doctors, nurses, and other health professionals that are left in the country are overworked and grossly underpaid when compared to their counterparts globally.
“This has negatively impacted the quality of services patients could access in our public health institutions.  Our governments, at all levels, need to be strategic and proactive in tackling this menace. Pay for health workers must be improved while a conducive environment that will make them thrive and be fulfilled professionally must be provided.”
Afolabi, who lauded the proprietor and management of the specialized institution for their foresight in establishing the university at a time the country needs to produce more quality health workers, said Gerar University of Medical Sciences has the capacity to become a reference point and a centre of excellence in medical education and research in the country.
Prof. Niyi Adetoro, the institution’s Vice Chancellor, said the new university will leverage technology and innovation to drive its vision, adding that the support of corporate organisations and public-spirited individuals will be required to support the university’s ambitious vision, which has necessitated an endowment fund of N500 million.

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