Readiness of Nigerian Health‑Care Workers to Work during COVID‑19 Pandemic
Introduction: Health‑care professionals of all cadres are the utmost valuable resource during pandemics and maintaining an adequate
workforce of health professionals during an emergency is critical to ensure uninterrupted provision of services that are essential for patient care.
Aim: Examine readiness of health‑care workers (HCWs) to provide service in the course of the COVID‑19 pandemic and the factors influencing their decision.
Methodology: This was a cross‑sectional study of Nigerian health sector workers HCWs in the course of the COVID‑19 pandemic. The respondents were recruited using HCWs focus groups on WhatsApp and Telegram social medial platforms.
Results: A total of 481 HCWs were recruited, consisting of 288 females and 193 males (M: F, 1:1.5), mean age = 30.71 ± 5.9 years. Most
HCWs (97.3%) showed a willingness to provide service during the pandemic; 73.3% of the HCWs were willing to work if supplied with adequate personal protective equipment (PPE) although 5.8% were less willing to work without proper PPE. Factors supporting unwillingness to work during the pandemic were: concerns about the lack of adequate testing for COVID‑19 (48.9%), lack of disability insurance plan (40.1%), fear of being infected (47.2%), and the risk of infection in family members (24.5%). The readiness to work was related to the job cadres of the HCWs (P = 0.001), while the provision of additional incentives and a change in the working conditions would influence the readiness of the HCWs to work.
Conclusion: HCWs were ready to provide service in the course of the COVID‑19 pandemic if there was a safe work environment, although the availability of PPE and other personal factors would influence their willingness to work, while improvement in working conditions would motivate HCWs to work.
Keywords: COVID‑19, health‑care workers, pandemic, personal protective equipment