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FG tasks Nigerian doctors in Diaspora on health sector

Presidential aide, Dabiri-Erewa challenged the Diaspora working in the health sector to build a world class hospital in the country.

Abike Dabiri,  Senior Special Assistant to President Muhammadu Buhari on Foreign Affairs and Diaspora

The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Foreign Affairs and Diaspora, Mrs Abike Dabiri-Erewa, gave the task when the Association of Nigerian Physicians in America (ANPA) visited her in Abuja.

The association was led by its President, Dr Johnson Adeyanju.

The presidential aide also challenged the Diaspora working in the health sector to build a world class hospital in the country as it was done by their counterparts in Ethiopia.

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“Nigeria is blessed with human and natural resources and we commend you for what you have been doing.

“However, it is quiet frustrating that we have your kind of calibre of Nigerian medical doctors in the Diaspora and we are having challenges in our health sector.

“We believe that by working with you through the ministry of health we can make a lot of difference, we believe that we can make more impact,” she said.

She said that the present administration had developed an initiative whereby Nigerian doctors in the Diaspora could render assistance in the nation’s health sector at their spare time.

The aide also enjoined them to develop a concrete medical mission that could have permanent structures whereby they could attend to patients.

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“It is our thinking that medical missions that visit the country can translate into something concrete, just like Ethiopia that built a world class hospital by 250 of its doctors in Diaspora.

“With Nigerian doctors in the Diaspora constituting 70 per cent of the black doctors in America, we want to throw the challenge back to you that you can do the same thing.

“This medical mission can be properly coordinated that hospital can be built in every zone to enable you see patients and then you go back, but the challenge now is how can we get structure.

“So I think we can work with you to have this medical mission structure in Nigeria, we cannot have you and not feel your impact, we are glad you are here,” she said.

Adeyanju had earlier said that ANPA was the largest association of the Nigeria medical practitioners in the Diaspora and had been in existence for more than 20 years.

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He said that the mission of the association was to enhance the nation’s health sector through partnership with the Federal Ministry of Health and office of the presidential aide on Diaspora.

He said the group was concerned about the health of Nigerians which explained the decision of the group to embark on medical mission to the country.

Adeyanju, who noted that the group was able to see over 400 Nigerian patients, said they were willing to collaborate with stakeholders to ensure better life for Nigerians.

He also said that the group was on a surgical mission to Nigeria, with three mission teams working on various health issues.

In a related development, the SSA also received a delegation of the Centre for Integrated Health Programme (Cihp) led by its Chief Executive Officer, Dr Bolanle Oyeledun.

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Dabiri-Erewa assured the leading implementation partner that the government was willing to ensure the success of the non-governmental agency.

Oyeledun said Cihp had over 120,000 patients on free HIV/AIDS treatment in the last six years.

Besides, she said the group has been able to prevent about 100,000 'mother-to-child transmission of the virus.

Cihp, she said, was also working in the area of skill transfer; stressing that the group want to see how to evolve a training programme to equip the capacity of health workers in the country.

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