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Challenges in critical care services in Sub-Saharan Africa: Perspectives from Nigeria

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Author(s): Okafor U

Journal: Indian Journal of Critical Care Medicine
ISSN 0972-5229

Volume: 13;
Issue: 1;
Start page: 25;
Date: 2009;
Original page

Keywords: Africa | critical care challenges | Nigeria | Sub-Saharan

ABSTRACT
Critical care services in Nigeria and other West African countries had been hampered by economic reversals resulting in low wages, manpower flight overseas, government apathy towards funding of hospitals, and endemic corruption. Since then things have somewhat improved with the government′s willingness to invest more in healthcare, and clampdown on resource diversion in some countries like Nigeria. Due to the health needs of these countries, including funding and preventive medicine, it may take a long time to reach reasonably high standards. Things are better than they were several years ago and that gives cause for optimism, especially with the debt cancellation by Western nations for most countries in the region. Since most of the earlier studies have been done by visiting doctors, mainly outside the West African subregion, this paper seeks to present a view of the challenges faced by providers of critical care services in the region, so that people do not have to rely on anecdotal evidence for future references.
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