Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access Thesis

Degree Name

Medical Doctor (MD)



First Advisor

Christine Ngaruiya

Second Advisor

Rachel Dreyer


The Accident and Emergency (A&E) unit in Nigeria is a key entry point to access health care for patients with various diseases. Currently there are limited data assessing the functionality of these units and their capacity for care. This study aims to evaluate the functional capacity of A&Es in Nigeria and to identify factors impeding optimal care.We conducted a cross-sectional study of seven hospitals in Nigeria, randomly selecting one hospital from each of the six geopolitical zones, and purposively including National Hospital Abuja. We used a universal sampling technique interviewing all doctors and nurses identified as routine A&E staff. We used a modified version of the Emergency Care Assessment Tool (ECAT) which assesses provision of key medical interventions (signal functions) used to treat six common, life-threatening conditions (sentinel conditions) in the Emergency department. For each condition, there was a “bundle” of signal functions and respondents evaluated the frequency of performance of each of the signal functions in the setting of a given condition. Respondent-evaluated performance for each signal function is reported as “Generally Not Done”, “Sometimes Done” and “Always Done” (1, 2, and 3, respectively). To assess differences in the facilities’ capacity to manage varying conditions, the values obtained from each of the signal functions in the “bundle” for each condition, were averaged. To measure each facility’s overall performance, the values obtained from each of the signal functions across all conditions for a given facility, were also averaged. A total of Five hundred and three health care providers (393 doctors and 110 nurses) were interviewed. Of these, 390 were medical doctors and 110 nurses with 3 non-specified. Among the doctors, there were 7 consultants (post-residency), 235 residents, 143 general practitioners and 5 interns (or house officers). Of all conditions, respiratory failure had the lowest mean score of 2.53 (95% CI, 2.1 - 2.97) across all the facilities. Conversely, altered mental status had the highest: 2.77 (95% CI, 2.41 – 3). A two-way ANOVA test comparing mean scores for all sentinel conditions across all sites, returned an F statistic of 1.353 (p=0.27) showing that no significant difference exists among the mean scores obtained for the sentinel conditions. Of all the 7 sites studied, FMC Katsina representing the north-west geopolitical zone had the highest mean score of 2.90 (95% C.I 2.84-2.96) out of a maximum score of 3, while UCTH representing the south-south had the lowest mean score of 2.37 (1.92 – 2.91). A two-way ANOVA test comparing the mean scores of all sites (across all conditions) returned an F statistic of 3.621 (P

Open Access

This Article is Open Access