Consortium for Advanced Research Training in Africa (CARTA) has said that it spent about $3.6 million to train some staff of the University of Ibadan (UI).
It also charged the Federal Government, through the Coordinating Minister of Health and Social Welfare, Ali Pate, to attend to staff shortfall affecting quality health service delivery in tertiary health institutions in the country.
This is coming as stakeholders have observed that health professionals in all units in tertiary hospitals in Nigeria have emigrated abroad in their thousands for greener pastures.
Speaking at a dissemination workshop on a project funded by CARTA on the ‘Lived Experiences of Migrating Informal Caregivers’ (LEMIC) held at the Institute of Africa Studies, University of Ibadan, a fellow of CARTA, Kudus Oluwatoyin Adebayo noted that the Federal Government needs to mobilise funds to support health service delivery in tertiary institutions across the country.
Adebayo, principal investigator, stated that informal caregivers of hospitalised patients who live within and around Nigerian hospitals need to be captured in the hospital care system by designing and implementing a sustainable policy model for informal caregiving.
Presenting the findings of the study alongside members of the team (Mofeyisara Omobowale, Rukayat Usman, Funmilayo Omodara and Atinuke Olujimi), he said that relatives of patients are forced to stay back to take care of their relatives because the cost of commuting is huge.
“While some desire to be near their sick relatives, many have limited choice but to stay, as the hospital needs them to run errands and fill the gap left by staff shortages.
The Don urged the Federal Government to mobilise funds for tertiary hospitals to utilise more technology to improve healthcare service delivery to minimise reliance on informal caregivers.
The researcher also added that there was a need to “alleviate the plight of informal caregivers by prioritising their wellbeing. This includes assisting them in preparing for long-distance referrals, improving facilities, training staff, and reversing the dependency on informal caregivers.”
The research team stated that this was important for government, hospital management, Ministry of Health and social workers because “informal caregivers face many challenges related to health and wellbeing, facility deficiencies, social and economic issues, security and safety, relational and attitudinal problems and hygiene maintenance.”
In her remarks, the University Co-focal person, CARTA, Olufunke Fayehun disclosed that the consortium spent $3.6million on 36 personnel of the University of Ibadan in the past 12 years for doctoral training, adding that “25 have graduated while 11 fellows are still on their PhD programmes at Ibadan or other CARTA partner institutions outside Nigeria.”
According to Fayehun, CARTA hopes that the findings of the funded research would inform policy and programme formulation and implementation that acknowledge caregivers’ role in hospitalisation care in Nigeria.