MINISTER of Health,
Professor Issac Adewole
has said that Nigeria suffers
from shortage of 40,000
health workers.
Adewole made this known
Tuesday in Abuja during the
commemoration of the 2017
International Day.
He said that this figure
is a backdrop of the World
Health Organization’s,
WHO, 2006 report which
revealed that Nigeria is
among 57 countries facing
a critical shortage of health
According to the minister,
these countries are those
with fewer than 2.3 doctors,
nurses and midwives per
1,000 populations.
He said, ‘’ against that ratio,
Nigeria reported a shortage
of nearly 40,000 health
workers. The new data may indicate that Nigeria’s shortage
is closer to 144,000—over three
times the amount reported in
‘’This would be the seventh
highest shortage of the 57
crisis countries. In Africa, only
Ethiopia reported a higher
shortage of 152,000 health
He said that the Nursing and
Midwifery Council of Nigeria
records shows that Nigeria has
240,000 qualified nurses and
midwives within the country.
According to the
minister Nigeria will need
approximately 149,852 doctors
and 471,353 nurses by the year
2030, adding that with the
available growth rate of doctors
and nurses; by this same period
only 99,120 doctors and 333,494
nurses will be available.
He said that the implication
of a shortage of about 50,120
doctors and 137,859 nurses
translates to 33.45% gap indoctors’ supply and 29.25%
gap in nurses’ supply in the
This shortfall will make
the country health system
vulnerable if there is no urgent
and concrete plan to address
the situation, Adewole noted.
The minister further noted
that apart from the shortage,
health workers are poorly
distributed and in favour of
urban, southern, tertiary health
care services delivery, and
curative care.
‘’ For some cadres of health
workers more than 50% work
in the South Western part of
the country with the majority
living in the commercial city of
He explained government is
making efforts to make health
workers available in the rural
areas, adding that about 60% of
the states in the country provide
incentives to health workers
who volunteer to serve in rurual areas while others make rural
service a condition for some
critical promotion.
The introduction of national
service for freshly graduated
midwives will address some
of the shortages of human
resource in the country, he

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