Availability and distribution of phototherapy services and health care providers for neonatal jaundice in three local government areas in Jos, North - Central Nigeria
Background: Severe neonatal jaundice remains common in Nigeria. Phototherapy is the most commonly used inhospital treatment for neonatal hyperbilirubinaemia.
Objectives: To describe the availability and distribution of phototherapy services as an essential neonatal service in hospitals in Jos, North-Central Nigeria.
Methods: This was a crosssectional study of all secondary and tertiary level health facilities in Jos-North, Jos-South and Jos-East Local government Areas (LGAs) between January and March 2015.
Results: There were 30 (90.9%) secondary and three (9.1%) tertiary health facilities. Twenty – eight (84.8%) were privately owned. Fourteen (42.4%) of the 33 hospitals provided phototherapy services, of which 11 (78.6%) were private. Phototherapy services were available in all the tertiary facilities and in only 11 (36.7%) of the secondary level health facilities. Most (10; 71.4%) of the hospitals with phototherapy were located in Jos-North LGA. There were 38 phototherapy units in all the 14 hospitals that offered phototherapy, consisting of 8 (21.1%) light emitting diodes (LED) and 30(78.9%) conventional units of which 25(83.3%) were locally fabricated. In all the hospitals that provided phototherapy, jaundiced neonates were managed by physicians of whom only 12% were fulltime paediatricians. All hospitals that offered phototherapy had laboratory facilities to assay bilirubin.
Conclusions: Phototherapy services in Jos, Nigeria are inadequate and are concentrated in the urban private sector. An increase in phototherapy services especially in secondary public facilities is needed.
Keywords: Health Care Provider, Hyperbilirubinaemia, Jos, Neonatal Jaundice, Nigeria, Phototherapy