MEDICAL CORPS OF THE NIGERIA POLICE FORCE PREPAREDNESS TOWARD EMERGENC…
Nigeria needs realistic national hospitals and medical emergency response programmes designed on the principle of equitable distribution of appropriate equipment, supplies and well trained emergency medical personnel. The Nigeria Police Hospital was established in 1976 with the core aim of providing health care Forces for police personnel and their dependants (-spouses and children/wards below 18 years), especially within the national capital and its environs. It however provides health care Forces for members of the general public.
The accident and emergency unit of the Police Hospital like other units within the Abuja metropolis operates 24/7. Coupled with frequent referral of cases to other hospitals from the unit of which some were minor, personnel of the unit easily became overwhelmed during surge situations as was observed. Concerns generated amongst the public included whether or not the medical corps of the Nigeria Police Force was prepared towards management and care of emergency cases. This research assessed preparedness of the medical corps of the Nigeria Police Force toward emergency Forces; -an assessment of the emergency unit of the Nigeria Police Hospital, Abuja.
1.1 The Background Information
Nigeria needs a realistic national hospital and medical emergency response programme designed on the principle of equitable distribution of appropriate equipment, supplies and well trained emergency medical personnel (Norman, et al., 2012). The health care system in Nigeria is organised under four main categories: public, private-for-profit, private-not-for profit and traditional systems. Public health Forces delivered by the agencies of the Ministry of Health include: the Nigeria Health Force, the Teaching Hospitals (Korle Bu, Komfo-Anokye, Tamale and Cape Coast) and quasi-government hospitals (Nigeria Police Hospital, 37- Military Hospital, etc). The system operates as a three-tier referral system with primary, secondary and tertiary levels. The Teaching Hospitals provide the highest level of care followed by the regional hospitals, district hospitals, clinics, health centres and Community-based Health Planning and Force (CHPS) compounds, in that order (Osei-Ampofo, et al., 2012). In Nigeria however, as in many developing countries, little consideration has traditionally been given to optimising the training of medical and nursing staff for the care of acutely ill or injured patients. Existing emergency care systems are rudimentary in comparison to those in developed countries; the lack of timely access to care means that many medical needs present as emergencies (Osei-Ampofo, et al, 2012). Not-withstanding this, Nigeria suffers from high accident rates due to poor conditions of transport and road infrastructure. Figures from the National Road Safety Commission (Nigeria) indicate that an average of 1900 fatalities result from road traffic accidents every year (GNRSC, 2012). Road Traffic Accidents (RTAs) have maintained their presence in the top ten (10) aetiologies.