The Honourable Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire has inaugurated the Committee to review the Diaspora Professionals Healthcare Initiative (DPHI) Programme with a charge to the Diaspora professionals to “consider contracting the basic healthcare services” they provide to local medical personnel, so as to free up their mission’s full value towards building capacity at our institutions of learning.
Nigerian Diaspora Healthcare Professionals have been engaging in various healthcare related activities and initiatives intended to contribute to the growth of Nigeria’s health sector and serve the needs of citizens in their home country. These include self-sponsored medical missions to towns and villages, on to conducting health educations, training and public health interventions, and advocacy. All of it free of charge to beneficiaries. But security considerations have of recent been limiting their freedom to go everywhere in the country, except with armed protection, the Health Minister observed.
Dr. Ehanire gave the Diaspora Health Mission charge to contract their services to local medical personnel and concentrate on capacity building for the locals when he was virtually inaugurating a Review Committee to enhance more benefits from Diaspora health mission, Tuesday, 2nd June, 2020.
The Honourable Minister said: “We have medical nursing, medical laboratory, pharmacy, public and community health and other colleges, in our Universities, where courses both in theory and practise can be taught to impart new knowledge, difficult skills and global best practices, to your country men and women.”
The Honourable Minister recognized the Diaspora Health Professional groups in their medical missions to various parts of Nigeria, including rural, hard-to-reach areas, saying that “these medical missions increased access to affordable, quality healthcare to citizens and brought specialty medical and dental consultation and treatment to those at the grassroots.”
Dr. Ehanire had observed that it is more desirable for the Diaspora Healthcare Professionals to engage more in training institutions to “train the trainers” and demonstrate new skills, and also render service to the needy.”
The inaugurated Review Committee, the Honourable Minister selected is composed of Prof. Philip Abiodun, of the University of Benin as Chairman; Prof. M. Aghaji, of the University of Nigeria, as Co-Chairman of the Review Committee.
Dr. Ehanire charged the two to work with a crack team of the Federal Ministry of Health, the Diaspora Commission and experts in all areas of health to conceptualise an idea to harness the knowhow of Nigerian health professionals in Diaspora, including data, personnel, hospital and health management skills for the benefit of Nigeria.
The Terms of Reference of the Committee are:
- To review the concept note of the DPHI with a view to redesign the earlier programme;
- To develop strategies for coordinating activities of the DPHI;
- To prioritise initiatives that support effective knowledge and skills transfer to Nigerian students and professionals;
- To design and assign courses, tutorials, and seminars, including by remote communications, that can deliver cutting-edge perspectives in health sciences to colleagues and students in higher institutions;
- To design and set up workshops for hands-on demonstration, practice, simulation, and experience sharing;
- To participate, in actual service delivery initiatives in secondary or tertiary hospitals;
- To coordinate such initiatives of non-Nigerian volunteers at rendering similar services as Nigerian diaspora; and
- To support efforts of Diaspora Nigerians and other nationals, at investing in Nigeria, especially in the Health sector.
Members include: Hon. Abike Dabiri Erewa (Chairman/CEO NIDCOM), Dr. Adebimpe Adebiyi, mni (Director Hospital Services, FMoH) and Dr. J. A. F. Momoh (CMD National Hospital and Chairman, Committee of Chief Executive of FTHIs).
Other members include Dr. Abdullahi Ibrahim (MD FMC, Azare; FMC Chair and Committee of Chief Executives FTHI), Dr. T. A. B. Sanusi (Registrar, Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria [MDCN]), Alh. Faruk Umar (Registrar, NMCN), Pharm. Elijah Mohammed (Registrar, Pharmaceutical Council of Nigeria [PCN]), Dr. Tosan Erhabor (Registrar, MLSCN), the Representatives of: ANPA, MANSAG,NAPPSA,CANPAD,NNCA-UK,NANNNA,NMA-Germany, NDF-SA, Association of Nigerian Medical Doctors in Africa; the Representatives of: NMA, NANNM, MLSCN and PSN, Dr. O. R. Olowu, mni (Head PPP/Diaspora Unit, FMoH and Secretary)and the Representatives of: ICRC, MSF as Observers.