In a recent online media report, it was said that Nigeria has lost over 4500 doctors to the UK in the last 6 years (the Buhari years). In a report by the Guardian newspaper in July 2020 (at the height of COVID-19), the UK revised its migration visa rules to encourage more doctors to migrate from countries like Nigeria to the UK.
At that time an average of 20 doctors left the shores of Nigeria weekly to the UK. The story is not much different when we see what’s happening in countries like the US, Canada, Saudi Arabia, South Africa to mention a few. This brain drain in the medical/healthcare sector should be of tremendous concern to us as a people.
Upon observation, the reason for this is clear. The cost of training a doctor in Nigeria, especially through our public medical school system is relatively cheap compared to the cost of training a doctor in most of the countries our doctors emigrate to. Therefore, Nigeria is supplying top-rate professionals to the world at a cheaper cost, strengthening their healthcare delivery systems to the detriment of our own. Who suffers? The ordinary Nigerian who is probably unable to afford private healthcare, especially in rural areas.
In my experience as a trained Nigerian medical professional, I observed that the major weakness in our doctors is a dearth in entrepreneurial education. That is, the capacity to see the breadth of opportunities that brings professional and financial reward. It is said that success is the application of knowledge to solve problems. In a country like ours with a myriad of challenges in healthcare, Nigerian doctors are meant to be extremely successful if they apply entrepreneurship skills. Programme
That is exactly what the Dr. Abayomi Ajayi Mentoring seeks to do: change the mindset of our doctors and hopefully stem the brain drain by proverbially teaching them how to fish instead of giving them fish. Through the mentoring model, we expose young Nigerian doctors to the wealth of experience of successful Nigerians in different fields of industry to equip them with the expertise needed to build successful enterprises, and to help build a robust healthcare system in Nigeria.
The first edition was a huge success, with the 12 mentees attesting to how much they were greatly impacted by the series of training and mentor-sharing sessions. We will be deepening the scope of input in the 2nd edition, which should commence by mid-October 2021 and run till the end of the 1st quarter of 2022.
The call for entries is currently ongoing and the selection process will be rigorously demanding on prospective entrants.
This life-transforming project which has been fully funded by the Nordica Foundation since inception requires the support of well-meaning organisations to be able to impact more doctors in our goal to increase the number of yearly participants. The 2nd edition promises to crack more opportunities for the mentees to have a more engaging relationship with the mentors.