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Nigeria’s health system unfit for global emergencies – Survey

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NIGERIA’S health system has been rated unfit to cope with another global health emergency.

New global research of health and care workers exploring the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic stated this in its finding that nearly three-quarters of Nigeria’s healthcare workers identified lack of funding as a major threat on their lives and to their expectations of the future of healthcare.

The survey, which included healthcare professionals from Nigeria, the UK, the US, Saudi Arabia, India, and Brazil, aimed to gain insights into the impacts of dealing with COVID-19 on healthcare workers’ lives, shine a light on their experiences, as well as explore what the future of healthcare might look like according to those serving on the frontline of care delivery.

Explaining its rating as a result of pressures triggered by inadequate financial support and non-access to critical equipment, the research that was conducted by YouGov on behalf of the World Innovative Summit for Health (WISH) says 73 percent of Nigeria’s healthcare workers have stated that a lack of financial support will be one of the biggest threats to their national health system in the event of a new global health emergency in the next five years.

The study also found that 75 percent of the health workers specified a lack of access to equipment, and more than half (54 percent) said lack of preparation, will also be significant in such a crisis.

In terms of current pressures, nearly a third (27 per cent) of Nigeria’s healthcare workers revealed budgets being tighter as one of the biggest changes they have experienced since the outbreak of COVID-19. This was much less of an issue for their peers in the US (20 percent), Brazil (18 percent), India (15 per cent), the UK (10 per cent), and Saudi Arabia (5 per cent).

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Furthermore, 53 per cent pointed to a lack of leadership as a major roadblock to the resilience of their national health system, and Nigeria’s healthcare workers were also the most likely (19 per cent) to see lack of technology among the greatest obstacles to address, in contrast to their peers in Brazil (15 percent), India (13 per cent), US (8 per cent), Saudi Arabia (6 per cent) and the UK (5 per cent).

It will be recalled that the biennial WISH Summit is taking place October 4 – 6 in Qatar, under the theme Healing the Future to showcase its evidence-based research and discuss how to translate these findings into practical, policy-driven solutions that help transform global healthcare delivery.

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