Shortage of medical staff hampers service delivery in the Maroua Regional Hospital

The deficit of personnel in the Maroua regional hospital impacts on quality service delivery said some specialists interviewed on June 27, 2017.


The regional hospital of Maroua is one of those few health facilities at the heart of the Far north region. Many people travel from distant places to benefit from health care and services delivered there. It is a reference hospital that harbours various health specialties and the costs are affordable to all the social classes. Yet, over the past years and mostly during the Boko Haram insurgency that rocked the region, the hospital has witnessed an increase in the demand of services. The demand which increased due to the number of refugees and internally displaced persons notwithstanding the high birth rate is one of the reasons why the hospital is unable to deliver today quality services. The number of patients has inflated while the number of health practitioners has decreased. The few surgeons assigned to the hospital are submerged. Most of them spend days and night on duty as they said.

Dr Ourtchingh Clovis, gynaecologist-obstetrician said: “the load of work is huge. Most of the main and urgent cases are referred to us. Since my arrival in 2014, I have been receiving about 60 patients per day though we are now two gynaecologists, I still have close to 40 patients per day. We pledge the government to reinforce the number of gynaecologists here in order to organize well our work and take care of all the patients”.

Dr Ngeng Leonard, dental surgeon and by the way deputy Director of the Maroua regional hospital said the principal problem they are faced with is shortage of personnel. “Most of the nurses working with us are volunteers who have not been employed. They are few nurses and surgeons employed by the state and this renders things difficult. We cannot make an effective work plan with this problem of human resources. Many people are assigned here but they don’t stay for long due to intensive working and climatic conditions. The people currently on duty here are those who love what they are doing and care less on what they gain” said Dr Ngeng.

However, as he said; the administrative staff of the hospital makes use of strategies with the few personnel in hand. “We continue to make things move. We have some specialists on standby. In case of any emergency they are called to intervene”.

The shortage of personnel in this reference hospital needs to be curbed for the welfare of both the patients and the medical staff.  Patients queue up for several hours in need of attendance. On their part, the nurses and doctors are physically and psychologically affected due to fatigue. And this in one way impacts on the quality of service and care.

It should be noted that, Doctors without borders best known in French as “Médecins sans frontières” has recently set up its installations at the Maroua regional hospital, where they ease some surgical interventions while the World Health Organization(WHO) has begun evaluating the needs and cost of the pediatric and maternal units for the rehabilitation of infrastructures.


By Elise Kenimbeni

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