Health Minister Decries Shortage Of Doctors In Zamfara

Minister of State for Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire and Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Adewole.  Photo: Johnson Udeani/BJO/NAN/file

By Victor Ernest

Minister of Health Isaac Adewole has directed the 120 doctors employed in Federal Medical centres to assist the 22 doctors employed for the 24 primary healthcare centres (PHCs) in Zamfara State.

The minister, who disclosed this in Abuja when addressing the just constituted National Task Force on Accelerated Reduction of Maternal Mortality in Nigeria, expressed sadness over the shortage of doctors in the state.

”Zamfara has 22 doctors for their 24 PHCs, but at the FMC, there are over 120 doctors. And I told them, you can’t be working here as if you are an island.

”We cannot be paying 120 doctors in FMC in Zamfara and the state needs doctors. Things must change. People can’t just be there and we will be paying them heavily for doing nothing,” the minister said.

Healthcare incentives

Meanwhile, the minister called for incentives for pregnant women to entice them to come for ante and postnatal care.

He said it could help reduce the high level of maternal mortality rate in the country, which he said stood at 576 deaths per 100,000 live births.

”Each time you come to the clinic, we give you a N1,000 and we say two visits. WHO says four, but I think two is enough. On the day that you are delivered of the baby, we give you N2,000 as transport fare and when you come for post-natal immunisation, you get another N1,000.So you get N5,000 in all.

”That should cost us about N40bn. I believe this country can afford it so that no woman will die,” the minister added.

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