A Fellow of Consortium for Advanced Research Training in Africa (CARTA), Dr. Kudus Oluwatoyin Adebayo, has charged the Federal Government, through the Coordinating Minister of Health and Social Welfare, Prof Ali Pate, to attend to staff shortfall affecting quality health service delivery in tertiary health institutions in the country. The University of Ibadan don gave the charge at the 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.
While noting that federal government needs to mobilise fund to support health service delivery in tertiary institutions across the country, the principal investigator noted that informal caregivers of hospitalised patients who live within and around Nigerian hospitals need to be captured in hospital care system by designing and implementing a sustainable policy model for informal caregiving.
Dr. Adebayo while presenting the findings of the study alongside members of the team (Dr. Mofeyisara Omobowale, Rukayat Usman, Funmilayo Omodara and Atinuke Olujimi), said relatives of patients are forced to stay back to take care of the relatives because they seek care far from home and 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 health- care service delivery to minimise reliance on informal caregivers. To the researcher, there was also the 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”.
In her remarks, the University Co-focal person, CARTA, Dr. Olufunke Fayehun, disclosed that the consortium had spent $3.6 million on 36 personnel of the Univer- sity 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”.