A new agreement will see healthworkers at the Federal Teaching Hospital in Sokoto deployed to any other public hospital.
The agreement comes amidst concern that healthworkers are over concentrated at Usman Dan Fodio Teaching Hospital, the only teaching hospital in Sokoto.
The hospital, established in 1989, has more than 100 consultants, 400 resident doctors and 750 nurses, according to its chief medical director Dr Yakubu Ahmed, who signed the agreement in Abuja.
“If you compare us with the state, we have a large number concentrated staff in the hospital,” he said.
“One important thing to note is that anytime we are recruiting new staff, the ones in the state will migrate into the teaching hospital.”
Six general hospitals—each senatorial district has two—are part of the deployment agreement.
Ahmed said resident doctors at the teaching hospital would be deployed to rural communities in the state, and they would be supervised by consultants from the hospital.
The teaching hospital sees many referrals because of its huge concentration of experts.
But nine in 10 people in trauma die before arrival at the hospital, mostly from accidents. One in 10 deaths is from other causes, according to a review of the hospital’s records.
“When we further reviewed the remaining 90 percent, we found out that only 10 percent died at the scene of the accident, 90 percent died along the way before reaching the hospital,” said Ahmed.
Health minister Isaac Adewole called the agreement a “great feat” and one of the best things to happen to Nigeria’s health system.
He said he had tried to achieve the feat when he was Provost, College of Medicine, University of Ibadan, but the effort was thwarted by “doctors on the state side.”
“It is not only peculiar to Sokoto State. I was in Zamfara. At the FMC in Zamfara, there are about 120 doctors, and the whole state has less than 40 in the entire state, in fact 23 or so at the last count to manage 24 hospitals,” said Adewole.
“So, it is a matter of one doctor per hospital. And, yet, one hospital has about 120. To me, that is inequality, inequity and must not persist in our country. This is because those who are not benefitting are also Nigerians. It is our duty to address these things and also ensure we offer our people good care.
“What this agreement will do is to transfer quality services from the teaching hospital to the communities. Highly trained specialists will offer services that support the state and the local governments. And, it is something that other state governors should emulate,” Adewole said.
Sokoto health commissioner Balarabe Kakale said, “When you approach the state through rural areas local governments, you have very severe scarcity of such professionals. By bringing the two together, you will be ready to deploy those numbers of high-skilled professionals across local governments.
“In Sokoto, we have more than 30 professors of medicine. More than 100 consultants, almost 800 doctors. Sokoto has more doctors and consultants than Kebbi, Zamfara and Katsina combined. Sokoto state has probably more doctors than Niger Republic: 100 consultants, 30 professors of medicine, specialists in neurosurgery, opthamologist, cardiologists, cardio-thoracic surgery. The essence is unleashing and releasing that capacity to the rural population.”
By: Judd-Leonard Okafor
Daily Trust News
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