Annals of African Medicine
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Year : 2023  |  Volume : 22  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 189-203

Identifying challenges in implementing child rights instruments in Nigeria: A nationwide survey of knowledge, perception, and practice of child rights among doctors and nurses

1 Faculty of Paediatrics, National Postgraduate Medical College of Nigeria, Nigeria; Department of Maternal and Child Health, School of Public Health, James Lind Institute, Geneva, Switzerland; Department of Paediatrics, Alliance Hospital, Jabi, Abuja, Nigeria
2 Department of Paediatrics, National Hospital, Abuja, Nigeria
3 Department of Psychiatry, Banner Behavioural Health Hospital, Scottsdale, Arizona, United States
4 Department of Neonatology, Wirral University Teaching Hospital, Birkenhead, United Kingdom
5 Department of Paediatrics, Federal Medical Centre, Jabi, Abuja, Nigeria
6 Department of Paediatrics, Federal Medical Centre, Birnin Kebbi, Kebbi, Nigeria
7 Department of Nursing, North West Anglia NHS Foundation Trust, Peterborough, United Kingdom
8 Department of Paediatrics, Barau Dikko Teaching Hospital, Kaduna State University, Kaduna, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
Qadri Adebayo Adeleye
Department of Paediatrics, Alliance Hospital Abuja, 1-5 Malumfashi Close, Off Emeka Anyaoku Street, Area 11, Garki, Abuja

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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/aam.aam_169_22

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Context: After thirty years of ratifying the child rights convention and nineteen years of the Child Rights Act, implementing child rights instruments remains challenging in Nigeria. Healthcare providers are well positioned to change the current paradigm. Aim: To examine the knowledge, perception, and practice of child rights and the influence of demographics among Nigerian doctors and nurses. Materials and Methods: A descriptive, cross-sectional online survey was done using nonprobability sampling. Pretested multiple-choice questionnaire was disseminated across Nigeria's six geopolitical zones. Performance was measured on the frequency and ratio scales. Mean scores were compared with 50% and 75% thresholds. Results: A total of 821 practitioners were analyzed (doctors, 49.8%; nurses, 50.2%). Female-to-male ratio was 2:1 (doctors, 1.2:1; nurses, 3.6:1). Overall, knowledge score was 45.1%; both groups of health workers had similar scores. Most knowledgeable were holders of fellowship qualification (53.2%, P = 0.000) and pediatric practitioners (50.6%, P = 0.000). Perception score was 58.4% overall, and performances were also similar in both groups; females and southerners performed better (59.2%, P = 0.014 and 59.6%, P = 0.000, respectively). Practice score was 67.0% overall; nurses performed better (68.3% vs. 65.6%, P = 0.005) and postbasic nurses had the best score (70.9%, P = 0.000). Conclusions: Overall, our respondents' knowledge of child rights was poor. Their performances in perception and practice were good but not sufficient. Even though our findings may not apply to all health workers in Nigeria, we believe teaching child rights at various levels of medical and nursing education will be beneficial. Stakeholder engagements involving medical practitioners are crucial.

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