7,256 Nigerian Trained Nurses “Japa” highest number in 5 years

report by the United Kingdom (UK) Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) has revealed that between March last year and March this year alone, a total of 7,256 trained Nigerian nurses relocated to the UK. This is contained in the NMC’s latest report.

The 7,256 trained nurses who recently moved from Nigeria to the UK was the highest number recorded in the last 5 years, and the highest annual increase within the period.

7,256 Nigerian Trained Nurses “Japa” to the UK, highest number in 5 years.

In March 2018, the number of trained nurses who migrated to the UK stood at 2,796. The number increased by 8% to 3,021 in 2019 and has increased every other year till it peaked at 7,256 nurses this March, causing even more shortages in the insufficient nursing workforce in the country.

This last set of 7,256 nurses that “japa” make up over one-third of the total 21,067 nurses that have immigrated to the UK in the last 5-year period.

YearNumber of Trained Nurses that moved from Nigeria to the UKAnnual Increase (Difference between the number of those who left this year and those who left the previous year)% Annual IncreaseNumber of Nurses who left for the UK annually as a % of the total that left in the last 5-year period
March, 20182,79613%
March, 20193,0212258%14%
March, 20203,68466322%17%
March, 20214,31062617%20%
March, 20227,2562,94668%34%
Total21,067100%

For as long as one can remember, the Nigerian healthcare sector has been plagued by many challenges. Chief among them is the scarcity of qualified workers to cater to its large population.

As at March 2020, Shakuri Kadiri, Deputy Director, Head of Human Resources, Federal Ministry of Health put the number of registered nurses at 180,709, which translates 88.1 nurses per 100,000 member of population nurses to Nigeria’s population, a ratio of 1: 1,135, according to Business Day report.

On registered midwives, he said there were 120,870, which means 58.9 midwives per 100,000 members of the population.

However, last year, the President of the National Association of Nigerian Nurses and Midwives (NANNM), Abdulrafiu Adeniji, lamented that there were only about 125,000 registered nurses servicing the health needs of the country’s over 200 million population.

He estimated then that the country would need at least 800,000 nurses to meet its healthcare needs. But, it seems this goal may not be attained soon, as data has revealed that nurses are leaving the country in their droves to other destinations, beyond the UK.

A further review of the data shows that the number of Nigerian nurses who emigrated to the UK between March 2021 to March 2022, and who were not trained in the European Union/European Economic Area are among the top 5.

The number of Nigerian trained nurses who left for the UK were the third-highest in the world and highest in Africa.

This mass relocation of trained nurses no doubt has enormous implications for the healthcare sector, which is already understaffed. 

With the latest mass relocation of trained nurses in Nigeria to the UK, the nurse-patient ratio might become worse, leading to an overstretch of the already limited nursing workforce. This might push even more nurses to join their colleagues in a more favourable working environment, resulting in further losses to Nigeria.

To avert worsening the current health crisis in the country, the Nigerian government may need to address the factors responsible for the nurses leaving to the UK and others. News Source: dataphyte

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