Shortage of health workers, especially doctors and nurses, as well as a lack of equipment in state hospitals is adversely affecting health care delivery in Niger State, investigation by Northern City News has revealed.
The state chapter Chairman of the Nigeria Medical Association, Dr Jibril Daniyan, told Northern City News on Thursday that the state had 220 registered doctors engaged in the state civil service, 206 others work with the Federal Medical Centre, while 35 were into private practice.
This number, he noted, was grossly inadequate if one took into account the more than two million residents, who access health care services across the state. Daniyan noted that the shortage of manpower and equipment posed the greatest challenge to health care delivery in the state.
He also lamented that because of the challenging working environment in the state, seven of his colleagues recently resigned their appointments. Daniyan appealed to the state government to make more investment in the health sector so as to improve health care delivery. Speaking in a similar vein, the Chairman of the National Association of Nigeria Nursing Management, Niger State Council, Shuaibu Tanko, stated that the state was also suffering from shortage of nurses and midwives.
According to him, nurses currently on the state government’s payroll stood at 946. Those working at the FMC Bida are 300, while 170 others work in the various local government areas of the state. Tanko said, “The World Health Organisation’s guidelines stipulate one nurse to four patients. Nigeria considers one nurse to eight patients.
While speaking on public complaints about the poor attitude of nurses towards patients, he explained that every profession had its own challenges, but that the body would not condone acts of professional misconduct. He noted that reports of misconduct against nurses were being taken seriously and dealt with expeditiously in line with rules and regulations.