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Nigeria has currently close to 50,000 qualified medical laboratory scientists.

VNDC Seeks Safe Working Environment For Health Workers

The Vaccine Network for Disease Control (VNDC), a non-governmental organisation is urging for a safer working environment for health workers to report any negligence of duty.

Mrs. Chika Offor, the CEO of VNDC, made the call in an interview with Newsmen on Sunday in Abuja on the sidelines of an event of alleged negligence in handling the case of Ms Greatness Olorunfemi, who was pushed out of a moving vehicle by suspected criminals.

“We must encourage and protect whistleblowers who come forward with information about negligent practices. This will help to expose and address systemic issues within the healthcare system,” she said.

Health workers, she said, often fear retaliation or negative consequences for reporting negligence, such as job loss or damage to their professional reputation. “There is a lack of robust legal protection for whistleblowers, making it risky for health workers to come forward,” she said.

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She said that reporting negligence could involve navigating complex and time-consuming bureaucratic processes, which discouraged some health workers from reporting incidents. She said there could be peer pressure or institutional cultures that discouraged reporting, with a prevailing “code of silence.”

“Inadequate confidential reporting mechanisms often hindered health workers’ ability to report negligence discreetly. Health workers may not have been adequately trained in recognizing and reporting negligence. High workloads and understaffing could limit the time and energy available for health workers to report incidents. Some health workers might not even be aware of the processes or channels available for reporting negligence,” she said.

She pleaded for Nigerians to raise awareness on the issue of negligence in hospitals, stating that this can be done through social media campaigns, community discussions, and public forums.

She further encouraged them to share their stories and experiences so as to highlight the impact negligence had on them and the healthcare system.