Buhari lauds emergence of Nigerian doctors in high offices globally

As NMA, others celebrate Enabulele’s emergence as WMA President

President Muhammadu Buhari has said that the emergence of Nigerian Medical doctors in high offices around the world and now as the President of the World Medical Association (WMA) reinforces the belief that Nigerian professionals can compete successfully anywhere and be among the best.

To this end, the president has expressed his commitment to constructive engagement and partnership with members of the medical profession for the purpose of better healthcare, which is critical in the face of the threat to health security occasioned by COVID-19, and other infectious disease outbreaks.

Speaking at the reception organised by the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) in honour of Dr. Osahon Enabulele, who was elected, last October, as the President of the World Medical Association (WMA), Buhari urged Nigerian doctors to always work to do Nigeria proud in delivering quality healthcare and also be advocates of quality healthcare to the people of the world when given an opportunity.

He observed that the election of Enabulele as the WMA president was achieved through appreciation of his hard work, diligence, and integrity and with the strong support of NMA, adding, “Enabulele is one of the most valuable human asset you can present to the world.”

The President, who was represented by the Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire, Buhari said that the Federal Government was doing everything possible to bring equity to the medical profession.

He said, “This is a historic event, one of our own has been elected into world leadership. It is our pride that Nigeria doctors are doing the country proud. The election of Enabulele was due to his hard work, intelligence and integrity. It is a thing of joy for the NMA, Nigeria and for West Africa that he emerged as the WMA President after a rigorous campaign processes by members all over the world.”

Buhari urged the WMA to give its full support to the World Health Organisation (WHO) to address the COVID-19 pandemic, which has become a threat to mankind and other health security challenges and also focus on amelioration of social determinants health as health disparity and health inequity are still problems around the world. He noted that WMA should pursue health equity especially for the poor, vulnerable populations orphans, Displaced Persons and persons with disabilities, adding that collaboration with the WMA and other professionals is essential to achieving progress in improving the health of disadvantaged individual and communities.

Buhari urged Enabulele to bring his experience in human capacity management to bare on his new assignment at the highest level of the global Medical community, adding that Nigeria will through this celebration champion the ideals of WMA, especially the advocacy of Health for all people around the world, Universal Health Coverage and the Sustainable Development Goals.

Also speaking, Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr. Chris Ngige, congratulated the WMA president-elect, saying that the White knew what they saw before they chose a Black to lead them.

On his part, President of the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA), Prof. Innocent Ujah observed that Enabulele was also the first Nigerian physician to be elected as the President of the Commonwealth Medical Association (CMA), adding that this is the first time a West African physician would be elected President of the WMA since the global body was formed in 1947.

He said, “I wish to state very clearly that I am uniquely happy and elated that this epoch-making achievement was recorded during my time as the President of NMA. Our brand new WMA President-elect, you have earned this great distinction and we are confident that you will continue to play your role in contributing to the growth of the WMA towards improved global health security.”

Responding, Enabulele said that the critical issues of improving political commitment to the health and wellbeing of citizens, improved Healthcare funding attainment of Sustainable Development Goals particularly with respect to the attainment of Universal Health Coverage (UHC), clinical governance, medical ethics and the protection of patients rights as well as the protection of the rights of physicians and other health care workers shall be given concrete expression during his tenure as the WMA president.

The WMA President-elect noted that by the year 2030, it has been estimated that the world will need an additional 18 million healthcare workers to secure attainment of the Universal Health Coverage, stressing that Africa has not more than three per cent of the global health workforce despite having about 25 percent of the global disease burden and the situation in Nigeria is not too different. Enabulele lamented that currently, Africa and most countries in the continent, have even worse human resource of health crisis due to push and pull factors experienced over the years of highly skilled health personnel from countries to lower and middle income countries to high income countries.

Dr. Osahon Enabulele

He said, “This unfortunate situation propelled the Commonwealth Medical Association which I currently lead to recently declare an Emergency on Human Resource of Health in the entire Commonwealth. Therefore as the first Nigerian and West African to be elected as the President of WMA since the body was established after the second world War in 1945, these issues are not lost on me, working collaboratively with African governments and the various medical associations including the NMA, which I will give top priority and other health professional associations and stakeholders, I hope to put these issues in the front burner in terms of challenges faced by low and middle income countries without relegating the unique challenges in the global north.

“With a very disciplined background and some modest nurturing, he grew up having very great expectations of the opportunities that abound in the world for the progressive of our commodification of our communities and with profound expectations of the boundless prospects and feature of our country and had always looked forward to making his selfless contributions to the progressive of the society, health systems and the medical profession including that of Nigeria since his graduation as a medical doctor.

“At this point in my life, I have been fired up to make to make positive contributions to the realization of the Nigerian dream, the dream of equitable and quality healthcare for all and the dream for an egalitarian, prosperous and glorious country. I have similarly been fired up to make valuable contributions to the advancement of global health and prosperity the well being of citizens of the world. There is still a lot to be done to improve global health particularly the health of citizens in lower and middle-income countries. We are witnesses to the fact that the COVID-19 pandemic has not only exposed the fragility of the of health systems across the globe especially Africa but has also widely held disparities and inequities.”

Enabulele assured the Registrar of Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria that the issue of ethics will be taken very seriously adding that he would set up very serious mentorship platforms to mentor those interested in undertaking responsibilities at the global level of the WMA.

Enabulele will be sworn-in as the new WMA president in October 2022 in Berlin, Germany.

Source: Guardian.ng

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