Society of African Journal Editors

Nigerian Journal of Paediatrics

Availability and distribution of phototherapy services and health care providers for neonatal jaundice in three local government areas in Jos, North - Central Nigeria

Authors: B.O. Toma, U.M. Diala, A.O.D. Ofakunrin, D.D. Shwe, J Abba, S Oguche

Journal: Nigerian Journal of Paediatrics

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