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HEALTH WORKFORCE MIGRATION: FG Strategized To Address Challenges

Prof. Ali Pate
Minister of Health & Social Welfare

"We can work towards a future where our healthcare workforce is resilient, vibrant, and capable of meeting the needs of our populations." Pate.

Coordinating Minister, Federal Ministry of Health & Social Welfare (FMOH & SW) Prof. Ali Pate has reiterated Federal Government's resolve to advancing healthcare and safeguarding the well-being of its citizens by recognising the urgency of addressing health workforce migration and its implications for our health systems.

He noted that, by joining hands and developing effective strategies, "we can work towards a future where our healthcare workforce is resilient, vibrant, and capable of meeting the needs of our populations."

The Minister said this in response to Agenda 8 in the annual report of the Regional Director Matshidiso Moeti, on the work of the World Health Organisation in the African Region recently held in Botswana 

The Minister, who was represented by the Permanent Secretary (FMOH &SW) Kachollom Daju mni stated that the "Framework for implementing the Global Strategic Directions for Nursing and Midwifery, 2021–2025 in the WHO African Region, arrives at a crucial juncture, particularly as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to cast light on our healthcare systems' strengths and vulnerabilities even as we create comprehensive strategies, we can collectively mitigate the negative impacts of health worker migration on our health systems."

According to him, "Afro is uniquely positioned to facilitate dialogue and cooperation among member states. We encourage the development of effective strategies to promote the retention of skilled health professionals through improved working conditions, professional development opportunities, and recognition of their contributions," he further stated.

Pate added that exploring innovative ways to tap into the expertise of the diaspora while also encouraging their return can contribute significantly to strengthening healthcare systems assuring that Nigeria fully supports this framework.

He opined that, "we recognize its alignment with our national healthcare priorities and believe it has the potential to drive positive changes in our healthcare system. As we navigate the challenges presented by the pandemic and other issues, our nation is prepared to collaborate with fellow member states to realize the objectives set forth in this framework."

He also commended  the WHO secretariat for their diligent work in formulating the draft General Programme of Work (GPW) 14 document, saying that it forms a cornerstone guiding the organization's vital role in international health efforts. 

In his words, "As we embark on this journey of formulating GPW 14, let us seize the opportunity to build upon the lessons learned from GPW 13, particularly our experiences dealing with the unprecedented challenges brought forth by the COVID-19 pandemic. It is crucial that we move forward cohesively, ensuring the completion of GPW 13 with impactful results while accelerating our strides towards the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030."

Pate said that Nigeria emphasizes the alignment of GPW 14 with the global SDG agenda. By proposing a timeline from 2026 to 2030, "we signal WHO's unwavering commitment to the SDGs" This strategic document should explicitly highlight WHO's contributions to the SDGs while sustaining its core functions, encompassing quality norms and impactful standards.

The Minister maintained that inclusivity is paramount  and adequate consultations at all levels, consistent with AMSTG recommendations, are essential for GPW 14's success adding that an iterative approach, starting at country offices, guarantees alignment with priorities and needs as greater member state participation fosters shared responsibility for benefiting vulnerable populations.

According to him, "Nigeria acknowledges the secretariat's strides in enhancing results measurement, but concerns persist. The reliability of stock-takes and impact analyses requires refinement, particularly in tracking the triple billion targets. Nigeria suggests consulting with member states to establish baselines and clear progress metrics. We advocate for a Theory of Change and Results Framework, grounded in the proposed 3Ps and strategic objectives, to guide the process."

He assured that Nigeria stands ready to collaborate diligently in order to shape GPW 14 to catalyse progress, fortify health systems, and advance the well-being of all. 

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