nma/ doctor/ kidnapping rural healthcare divide
Rural areas often face a lack of essential healthcare services.

Combined 55% Doctors, Nurses Diagnose Inaccurately – FG

Federal Ministry of Health has said only 80 per cent of doctors and 67 per cent of nurses in Nigeria diagnose accurately.

The Permanent Secretary, Adebiyi Olufunso, who made the disclosure, queried outcomes from community health extension workers, who manage over 30,000 primary healthcare facilities in the country, submitting that barely 57 per cent would get their diagnoses right.

Speaking at the third Africa Digital Health Summit (ADHS 2023), themed, ‘Digital Transformation of Health Systems: The Role of Collaboration and Partnership’, in Lagos, yesterday, Olufunso stressed the importance of digital tools, which would provide the right foundation for correct analyses. He said the ministry had developed a national policy on digital health to enable Nigeria to compete favourably with other nations.

The permanent secretary noted that recent data show that 40 per cent of doctors in the country are resident in Lagos, with some states having less than five medics.

Highlighting a major challenge facing the health sector and impacting quality care and outcomes, Olufunso, who was represented by the Director, Monitoring and Evaluation, Dr. Chris Isokpunwu, observed that the number of women attending antenatal care is increasing in proportion to maternal mortality rate.

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His words: “More women are going to hospitals for care, and many of them are delivering in hospitals, but we still have more women dying.”

The convener, Dr. Niyi Osamiluyi, said digital transformation requires collaborations, noting that no individual entity could address the challenges in the sector.

He noted that endless possibilities abound via digital health to better outcomes on the African continent. Osamiluyi said the gathering provided an opportunity for policymakers, healthcare professionals, researchers, technologists, entrepreneurs and innovators to collectively explore the potential of digital solutions in healthcare systems.

“Today, in an era of rapid technological advancement and interconnectedness, the digital landscape presents unparalleled opportunities to revolutionise healthcare delivery. Through this, Africa can bridge gaps, overcome barriers and improve access, quality and outcomes,” he added.

Deputy Managing Director, Strategy and Technical, Society for Family Health (SFH), Jennifer Anyanti, said digital innovations play a critical role in expanding and strengthening the health system. According to her, the move is a great opportunity to scale up access to healthcare, training and data collation.