By Alemma-Ozioruva Aliu – Benin City
The newly installed President of the Commonwealth Medical Association (CMA), Dr. Osahon Enabulele has lamented that Africa with its huge population bears 25 per cent of global disease but is home to only three per cent of the global health workforce.
Enabulele stated this at the Benin Airport when he was received by friends and associates after his installation as the first Nigerian to lead CMA 57 years after the association was born.
He said he would use the next three years to work with all commonwealth countries to ensure adequate healthcare for their people just as he said an award of excellence would be instituted to reward countries who improve on the health of their people.
Enabulele said; “Africa even though contributes a very large percentage of the population of the world, it bears over 25 per cent of the disease burden despite that, Africa has only three per cent of the health workforce globally so that means health human resources is a major challenge in Africa and today, it is even worse by the increasing phenomenon of brain drain.
We shall see that as a priority if the issue is poor budgetary allocation, we shall address that through advocacy. We are going to look at assessments more holistically and more objectively by for the first time doing a very proactive objective ranking system and through that also try to see how we can reward those who have performed and who are performing by way of institutionalizing what I call the CMA excellence awards but we will take them one after the other”
He said; “For the first time, we are going to see a bit more of proactive action in addressing health system issues across the commonwealth because health is wealth and when you have a very firm resolve to ensure that governments across the commonwealth pay particular attention to health systems in their various countries particularly in the low and middle income countries, particularly also in the developing countries of Africa including Nigeria , then you are going to have a situation where everybody will begin to look to a reference point and so that reference point we intend to create and ensure that people increasingly commit their resources talking about the various governments through CMA and the commonwealth health ministers towards the improvement of access to care.”