Our research carried out in different parts of the country has helped us identify the following problems;-
1. Inadequate care given to patients. This is attributed to the Nurse / Patient ratio:
(a) There is a small number of nurses compared to the ever increasing number of patients. One nurse has so many patients to attend to that she hardly attends to all of them satisfactorily. This normally has adverse psychological consequence on the patient leading to slow recovery.
(b) Because Nurses are few, Patients being attended to by relatives who lack even the basic minimum in patient care. It has resulted into reduced quality of care.
2. The rapid spread of disease attributed to:-
(i) The large numbers of patients’ relatives in hospitals, which has led to congestion in the wards and since these people lack the basics, this makes it easy for infections to spread.
(ii) The untrained attendants (relatives) may end up being infected by the patient they are attending to since they lack professional knowledge and skills.
3. Slow recovery of patients attributed to;
(a) Inadequate feeding of patients by unskilled caretakers.
(b) Some drugs being out of stock while even basic necessities like sundries are inadequate.
(c) Drugs not administered in time.
4. The unfortunate waste of time whereas people have busy schedules and commitments, many people can’t personally look after their loved ones.
5. Some patients find themselves in hospital but apparently lack attendants; this is especially so with visitors, tourists and accident victims.
6. The financial implications to the patients or patients’ relatives of having many attendants to one patient.
This is a critical situation because the patient is not working whereas he/she is the bread winner.
7. The disintegrated institution of the family
The key people in our families are normally the two parents and without them, there is no family. If both are in hospital, one looking after the other, by the time they come back, they may find a family disintegrated due to lack of parental guidance.
8. The stress factor
There is a need for the patient to take less time in hospital and other health center so that they may go back to work. As society changes, there is a lot of social and economic insecurity. People are neither sure of what to eat tomorrow nor their jobs. They have a family to look after, a job to do, school fees to pay; orphans to care for, children to bring up, patients to take care of etc. All these end up impacting on them psychologically resulting in stress and hence low productivity.