Borno commissioner of health, Prof. Isa Hussaini, says one of the state’s biggest challenges is the shortage of health workers.
This is just as he said that the state has recruited 360 nurses and trained 60 female doctors for various positions in its primary health care centres.
In an interview with PUNCH HealthWise, Hussaini expressed concerns that most primary healthcare centres in the country don’t have enough medical personnel to man them.
“We have shortage of health workers like doctors, nurses, pharmacists, medical lab scientists and others.
“Now that we have many new primary healthcare centres in the country, there is need to get many capable hands to man them.
“In Borno, we have access to drugs and adequate infrastructure provided by the Ministry of Health. The biggest challenge is trying to get the right people into the right facilities.
“When you consider the World Health Organisation health professional-patient ratio, no state in the country can claim to have enough health workers.
“Recently, we recruited 360 nurses and also trained 60 female doctors. About 45 of those doctors have passed their exams and cleared by Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria.
“They are currently doing their housemanship right here in Borno. Still we have to recruit more,” he said.
The WHO says countries would require a health workforce that is aligned with population and community health needs to progress towards universal health coverage.
It further stated that strategic investments in a country’s health system and in its workforce brings health benefits to the people and also contributes to good employment, economic growth and a reduction in inequalities.
Hussaini told our correspondent that Borno plans to recruit more health workers through a nationwide advertisement campaign.
“We are also hoping to provide incentives to motivate them. Based on WHO recommendation, we are supposed to have one primary healthcare centre per ward.
“We have so many wards here. For instance, In Marte alone, we have 13 wards. Gwoza also has 13, while Chibok has 11 wards with two or three PHCs serving the population.
“We, however, need additional facilities because if one has many functional PHCs giving quality care to the people, it reduces the pressure on the secondary and tertiary hospitals.
“We, therefore, need to strengthen the PHCs with adequate workforce,” he said.
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