*Call for policy to formalise informal caregivers, spends $3.6m to train 36 UI staff
By; BAYO AKAMO, Ibadan
A Fellow of Consortium for Advanced Research Training in Africa (CARTA), Dr Kudus Oluwatoyin Adebayo on Thursday, asked the Federal Government, through the Coordinating Minister of Health and Social Welfare, Prof Ali Pate, to attend to staff shortfall
in tertiary health institutions in the country.
Speaking 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, Dr Adebayo said the shortfall is already affecting quality health service delivery in tertiary health institutions in Nigeria.
According to Dr Adebayo, there is the need for the federal government to mobilise fund to support health service delivery in tertiary institutions across the country
He stressed that informal caregivers of hospitalized 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
The University Co-focal person, Fellow of Consortium for Advanced Research Training in Africa (CARTA) Dr Olufunke Fayehun while speaking disclosed that the consortium has spend $3.6million on 36 personnel of the University of Ibadan in the past 12 years for doctoral training.
Dr Fayehun said “25 have graduated while 11 fellows are still on their PhD programs at Ibadan or other CARTA partner institutions outside Nigeria”, adding that CARTA hopes that the findings of the funded research will inform policy and program formulation and implementation that acknowledges caregivers’ role in hospitalization care in Nigeria.
Presenting the findings of the study alongside members of the team (Dr Mofeyisara Omobowale, Rukayat Usman, Funmilayo Omodara and Atinuke Olujimi), Dr Adebayo said relatives of patients are forced to stay back to take care of the relatives because the 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.
Dr Adebayo called on the federal government to mobilise funds for tertiary hospitals to utilize more technology to improve healthcare service delivery to minimize reliance on informal caregivers, as there is the need to “alleviate the plight of informal caregivers by prioritizing their wellbeing.”
He stressed that ” This includes assisting them in preparing for long-distance referrals, improving facilities, training staff, and reversing the dependency on informal caregivers.”
The research team stated that this is important for government, hospital management, ministry of health and social workers because “informal caregivers face many challenges related to health and wellbeing, facility deficiencies, social and economic issues, security and safety, relational and attitudinal problems and hygiene maintenance