By Sam Kayode
The Chairman, Medical Advisory Committee (CIMAC) of the University of Maiduguri Teaching Hospital UMTH, Prof Mala Sandabe, has regretted the exodus of critical medical staff from the Hospital due to the lingering insurgency caused by Boko Haram militants in the north east of Nigeria.
Prof Sandabe regretted that unless the Federal government allows management to recruit vital staff within the medical sector in time, the critical medical personnel ratio of the UMTH will be badly affected in the no distant future.
Prof Sandabe who spoke with metro watch online noted that many of the medical practitioners employed by the Hospital have had to leave as a result of pressure from relations who lured them out after management has painstakingly recruited them to work in the tertiary facility.
“We are really over stretched and we just have to recruit more doctors and even nurses because our staff strength is reducing daily even as some retire while others die on duty as was the case during the height of the covid 19 pandemic last year.
A lot of them left immediately after we recruited them while others had to bow to family pressure over the decade long insurgency to leave the service for safer areas. Our nurses requirement is about 1,500 but we are making do with just five hundred of them at present and this is grossly inadequate for patient management here.
“About two years ago, we had about sixty Resident doctors and by the way, most of our residents are senior registrars, meaning they are close to being consultants. But the figure is quite low now.
We were given the go ahead to recruit more which we did, two hundred were considered from all over the country and given the job, but you know what, only ten percent of them showed up in Maiduguri for resumption because of the insurgency. And among these twenty only six came for resumption while three left after the first three months of work. That is our plight.
“And this is what insurgency is doing to our services and still continues to do. So by the time you mix that to covid 19 pandemic which choked us this year and then the wave of industrial actions coming up, you can understand what we are going through” said Sandabe.
On the lingering insurgency in Borno state, Sandabe regretted that a situation in which the only road that connects Maiduguri to the rest of the world is not very safe and his staff are still being exposed to kidnapping and daylight abduction on that road is risky adding that it was sad that that there was no insurance for these professionals in case the inevitable happens to them.
“During the peak of the Covid 19 scourge, the Airport was also closed down so for a hospital that lacks so many vital professionals you can imagine how bad things were and we were unable to bring in some necessary professionals to perform some specific operations.
And then, we have a lot of nurses on leave which is their entitlement. Maternity leave is at least 117 days meaning we need three nurses per shift in each ward when one goes off so we surely need more nurses to take us to the next level” he maintained.
The CIMAC noted that to compensate for the industrial actions of the health workers going on, all the consultants have been drafted to come out into the pool to help take care of sick people on a daily basis.
The Boko Haram war has lasted for over ten years with a huge blow on the entire health sector of Borno state and the entire north east.