The Nigerian emergency department
- By: Chibuzo Odigwe, Seye Abimbola
In the Nigerian emergency department, the expectations of the patients and their relatives are the same as anywhere else. What differs is the manner and extent to which this is met. The facilities and personnel available to handle emergency situations in several emergency rooms vary, depending on the hospital.
The new single storey adult accident and emergency building of the Obafemi Awolowo University Teaching Hospital, Ife, one of the oldest and largest hospitals in Nigeria, has about 20 couches, a number which is well below capacity. Often trolleys and stretchers in cubicles, on the corridor, and sometimes even, the floor supplement the beds. Such is the scene in a typical tertiary care hospital in Nigeria.
Patients present to emergency departments after trying to have the problem solved elsewhere--churches, prayer houses, with traditional healers, with patent medicine dealers, and even with self acclaimed pseudo-orthodox medical practitioners. Kenneth Ochulor, medical registrar at