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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2011  |  Volume : 14  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 318-321

Millennium development goals-Knowledge and attainability as perceived by doctors: A case study


1 Department of Paediatrics and Child Health, University of Ilorin Teaching Hospital/University of Ilorin, Ilorin, Nigeria
2 Federal Medical Centre, Bida, Nigeria
3 Federal Medical Centre,Yola, Nigeria

Date of Acceptance14-Feb-2011
Date of Web Publication28-Oct-2011

Correspondence Address:
O A Adegboye
Department of Paediatrics and Child Health, University of Ilorin Teaching Hospital/University of Ilorin, Ilorin
Nigeria
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/1119-3077.86776

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   Abstract 

Objective: To audit the knowledge of doctors and evaluate their disposition toward the attainment of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).
Materials and Methods:
Semi-structured questionnaires requesting information about knowledge of the acronym "MDGs" were administered on willing doctors at three tertiary health centers: University of Ilorin Teaching Hospital, Federal Medical Centre, Bida, and Federal Medical Centre, Yola. Data were analyzed using frequency tables and simple statistical methods.
Results: One hundred and eighty-three doctors participated in the study, comprising 65 (35.5%) from Bida, 18 (9.8%) from Yola, and 100 (54.7%) from Ilorin, with a male to female ratio of 2:1 (P < 0.05). Thirty-nine respondents (21.3%) had no fore kowledge of MDG (P < 0.05). Only 77 (42.1%) of the respondents who had fore knowledge of "MDG" knew the number of goals to be eight (P < 0.05). Among those who had fore knowledge of MDG, only 34 comprising 15 (10.4%, Bida), 1 (0.7%, Yola), and 18 (12.5%, Ilorin) could correctly list a minimum of four of the MDGs (P < 0.05). Only 12 (8.3%) of the respondents believed that the MDGs are very achievable.
Conclusion: There is an absolute need for more elaborate publicity on the MDGs among doctors as they are key players if attaining the MDGs is to be a reality.

Keywords: Millennium development goals, knowledge and attainability, evaluation of doctors knowledge


How to cite this article:
Adegboye O A, Adeboye M A, YK, Erinle S A, Nwachukwu N D, Salawu F K, Sajo N J. Millennium development goals-Knowledge and attainability as perceived by doctors: A case study. Niger J Clin Pract 2011;14:318-21

How to cite this URL:
Adegboye O A, Adeboye M A, YK, Erinle S A, Nwachukwu N D, Salawu F K, Sajo N J. Millennium development goals-Knowledge and attainability as perceived by doctors: A case study. Niger J Clin Pract [serial online] 2011 [cited 2022 Aug 7];14:318-21. Available from: https://www.njcponline.com/text.asp?2011/14/3/318/86776


   Introduction Top


The Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) are eight goals adopted by 189 nations and signed by 147 Heads of State and Governments during the UN Millennium Summit in September 2000 with the aim of attaining these goals by the year 2015. [1],[2]

The eight MDGs are to: eradicate extreme poverty and hunger; achieve universal primary education; promote gender equality and empower women; reduce child mortality; improve maternal health; combat HIV/AIDS, malaria, and other diseases; ensure environmental sustainability, and develop a Global Partnership for Development. [1]

The MDGs 4 to 6 have a direct bearing on health issues: reduction of infant mortality; improvement in maternal health; and control of HIV/AIDS, malaria, and other illnesses. [2] Goal 3 (empowerment of women) has to do with projects in sexual and reproductive health [3] -a recognition that health is central to global agenda of reducing poverty and an important measure of human well-being in its own right.

Human resources are the crucial core of a health system. Human resources are in very short supply in health systems in low- and middle-income countries compared with high-income countries. [4] Human resources have been described as "the heart of the health system in any country," [4] "the most important aspect of health care systems," [5] and "a critical component in health policies". [6]

Health workers are expected to be quite familiar with the MDGs because the goals have bearing on health either directly or indirectly. With the MDG target date of 2015 just 6 years away, the need to assess the awareness and disposition of doctors to the MDGs becomes necessary. With this, we audit the knowledge of doctors in three tertiary health centers: University of Ilorin Teaching Hospital, Federal Medical Centre, Bida, and Federal Medical Centre, Yola and evaluate their disposition toward the attainment of these goals.


   Materials and Methods Top


Semi-structured questionnaires requesting information about knowledge of the acronym "MDGs," the number of goals, correctly listing the goals, knowledge that the MDGs are time bound, the time frame for the goals, and the attainability of the goals were administered on willing doctors at the three tertiary health centers. The acronym "MDGs" was deliberately used in the questionnaires to prevent suggestive questions. The completed questionnaires were returned immediately by the participants. Scores were awarded to the aspect of the questionnaire testing ability to list the MDGs (zero for not able to name any of the MDGs, 50% for listing up t o four goals accordingly and 100% for listing the eight goals correctly). Confidentiality was maintained. Data were analyzed using frequency tables and simple statistical methods.

The preliminary reports of this study were presented at the 39 th Paediatric Association Of Nigeria Conferencce (PANCONF) in Lagos. [7]


   Results Top


One hundred and eighty-three doctors participated in the study, comprising 65 (35.5%) from Bida, 18 (9.8%) from Yola, and 100 (54.7%) from Ilorin. The total number of males was 121 and females 62, giving a male to female ratio of 2:1 [Table 1].
Table 1: Gender distribution of the 183 respondents


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One hundred and forty-four respondents comprising 43 (29.9%) from Bida, 11(7.6%) from Yola, and 90 (62.5%) from Ilorin had heard of the acronym "MDG" before the study [Table 2].
Table 2: Response of the 183 doctors to knowledge of the acronym "MDG"


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Only 30 (69.8%), 5 (4.5%), and 42 (46.7%) of the 43, 11, and 90 respondents from Bida, Yola, and Ilorin, respectively, who had fore knowledge of "MDG" knew the number of goals to be eight [Table 3].
Table 3: Response of the 183 doctors to knowledge of the correct number of goals in MDGs


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Among those who had fore knowledge of MDG, only 34 comprising 15(10.4%, Bida), 1(0.7%, Yola), and 18 (12.5%, Ilorin) could correctly list a minimum of four of the MDGs [Table 4]. One hundred and twenty-seven (88.2%) of the participants consisting 50 (27.3%, Bida), 12 (6.6%, Yola), and 65 (14.1% Ilorin) correctly answered that the MDGs are time bound [Table 5]. Only 65 (51.2%) of those who know that the MDGs are time bound correctly stated that the aim is to attain these goals by the year 2015 (c2 = 54.26; [Table 5]).
Table 4: Ability of the 183 doctors to list the 8 MDGs


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Table 5: Knowledge of the time bound for the MDGs


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Twelve (8.3%) of the respondents believed that the MDGs are very achievable, 44 (30.6%) believed that they are not achievable, 96 (66.7%) believed that they are achievable with more efforts, while 31 (2.7%) were not sure whether the goals could be achieved or not.

All respondents opined that the publicity is grossly inadequate


   Discussion Top


This study offers a unique snapshot of the knowledge of doctors in the three tertiary health centers about the MDGs, now more than midway to the target date of 2015. This picture is not encouraging, reinforcing the conclusions of the UN Report published in September 2008 that while we are half way to 2015, we are much less than half way to achieving most of the MDGs. [8]

The awareness of doctors in the three health centers about MDGs is significantly low. The largest number of respondent who had heard of the acronym "MDG" before the study (90, 62.5%) were from Ilorin center. This is probably because Ilorin is a Teaching Hospital, a much larger center with well-established residency training programs.

Only 77 (42%) of the total respondents knew the number of the goals to be eight, with Bida center having the largest repondents with positive answer. Previous health-related programs such as Alma Ata declaration on primary health care with slogan such as "Health for all by the year 2000" [9] became more popular after their expiration. The year 2000 has come and gone, yet accessibility to quality healthcare delivery is still being sought. The Child Survival Revolution was launched in 1980s with emphasis on survival strategies such as Growth Monitoring, Oral Rehydration Therapy, Breast Feeding, Immunization, Family Planning and Female Education, which could have immediate and long-term effects on the health of children. The Convention on the Rights of The Children of 1989 by the General Assembly of the United Nations and World Submmit for Children held in 1990 are other examples. [10],[11]

The sad fact is that in most instances there is no institutionalized mechanism to involve or consult health professionals in national health policy setting, although they are expected to play a central and determining role in the pursuit of the reform objectives. [12] When health professionals are involved in health policy making, it is often on ad hoc basis. It is therefore not surprising that only 8.3% of the respondents believed that the MDGs are very achievable, this is in keeping with the doubts expressed regarding the possibilities of achieving MDGs within the time frame. [13],[14]

Human resources are the crucial core of a health system, [15] but they have been a neglected component of health-system development. [4],[6] Developing capable, motivated and supported health workers is essential for overcoming bottle necks to achieve national and global health goals. Uncertainty, ignorance, guess work becloud the knowledge and believe in attainability of the MDGs among the respondents. This could make the goals relating to health (reduction in child mortality; improvement in maternal health; and combat HIV/AIDS, malaria, and other endemic diseases) "hard to achieve." [16] There is need for continuing education to update knowledge and skills of health workers in order to respond to new and rapidly changing challenges of health care.


   Conclusions Top


Health is wealth, it is based on this premise that health providers are valued and respected. Development in all its forms is only possible when there is health. This is why , at least, three of the Millenium Development Goals (MDGs) fall within the spectrum of health. The challenges of the MDGs are staggering and there is still a long way to go to keep our promises to current and future generations. There is an absolute need for more elaborate publicity on the MDGs among doctors, as they are key players, if attaining the MDGs is to be a reality.

 
   References Top

1.WHO:Health in the Millenium Development Goals. Available from: http://www.who.int/mdg/goals/en/ [Last cited on 2011 Jan 30].  Back to cited text no. 1
    
2.Millennium Development Goals Available from: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Millennium_Development_Goals [Last cited on 2011 Jan 30].  Back to cited text no. 2
    
3.Engendering the Millennium Development Goals on health. Department of Women's Health, WHO 2003.p.1-11.  Back to cited text no. 3
    
4.Dodd R, Cassels A. Health, development, millennium development goals. Ann Trop Med Parasitol 2006;100:379-87.  Back to cited text no. 4
[PUBMED]  [FULLTEXT]  
5.Hongoro C, McPake B. How to bridge the gap in human resources for health. Lancet 2004;364:1451-6.  Back to cited text no. 5
[PUBMED]  [FULLTEXT]  
6.Travis P, Bennett S, Haines A, Pang T, Bhutta Z, Hyder A, et al. Overcoming health-systems constraints to achieve the Millennium Development Goals. Lancet 2003;9437:900-6.  Back to cited text no. 6
    
7.Adeboye MA, Eze EC, Adegboye OA, Solomon A, Abdullahi U, Ahmed G. Millenium Development Goals: Knowledge and attainability as perceived by health workers- A preliminary report. In: Proceedings of the 39 th Annual General and Scientific Conference of the Paediatric Association of Nigeria (PANCONF 2008), Jan 21-25, 2008; held at Lagos - Nigeria; 76-77.  Back to cited text no. 7
    
8.UNECA: Assessing Progress in Africa towards the Millennium Development Goals. Available from: http://www.uneca.org/cfm/2008/docs/AssessingProgressinAfricaMDGs.pdf [Last cited on 2011 Jan 30].  Back to cited text no. 8
    
9.WHO: Primary health care. Available from: http://www.who.int/topics/primary_health_care/en/ [Last cited on 2011 Jan 30].  Back to cited text no. 9
    
10.UNICEF: Convention of the Right of the Child Available from: http://www.uncef.org/crc/ [Last cited on 2011 Jan 30].  Back to cited text no. 10
    
11.UNICEF: World summit for Children Available from: http://www.uncef.org/wsc/ [Last cited on 2011 Jan 30].  Back to cited text no. 11
    
12.Girma S, Yohannes A G, Kitaw Y, Ye-Ebiyo Y, Seyoum A, Desta H, Teklehaimanot A. Human Resource Development for Health in Ethiopia: Challenges of Achieving the Millennium development Goals. Ethiop J Health Dev 2007;21:216-31.  Back to cited text no. 12
    
13.Dyer O. UN predicts that millennium development goals will be missed by a wide margin in Africa. BMJ 2005;330:1350.  Back to cited text no. 13
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14.Dare L, Buch E. The future of health care in Africa. BMJ 2005;331:1-2.  Back to cited text no. 14
[PUBMED]  [FULLTEXT]  
15.Dussault G , Dubois CA. Human resources for health policies: A critical component in health policies. Hum Resour Health 2003;1:1-16.  Back to cited text no. 15
[PUBMED]  [FULLTEXT]  
16.Okonofua EF. Achieving the millennium development goals in Africa: How realistic? Afri J Reprod Health 2005;9:7-14.  Back to cited text no. 16
    



 
 
    Tables

  [Table 1], [Table 2], [Table 3], [Table 4], [Table 5]


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