Short Report – Special Collection: African Health Systems

The contribution of family physicians to primary health care: Experiences from southwest Nigeria

Temitope Ilori, Kemi T. Awoonidanla, Adedotun A. Adetunji
African Journal of Primary Health Care & Family Medicine | Vol 13, No 1 | a3218 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/phcfm.v13i1.3218 | © 2021 Temitope Ilori | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 29 August 2021 | Published: 17 December 2021

About the author(s)

Temitope Ilori, Department of Community Medicine, Faculty of Clinical Sciences, College of Medicine, University of Ibadan, Ibadan, Nigeria; and, Department of Family Medicine, University College Hospital, Ibadan, Nigeria
Kemi T. Awoonidanla, Department of Family Medicine, University College Hospital, Ibadan, Nigeria
Adedotun A. Adetunji, Department of Family Medicine, University College Hospital, Ibadan, Nigeria


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Abstract

Although an emerging speciality in Africa, family medicine contributes significantly to African health systems. Leadership from family physicians can enable the delivery of high-quality primary health care that is accessible, comprehensive, coordinated, continuous and person-centred. This short report chronicles how family physicians from a university teaching hospital in Ibadan, Nigeria, adopted a health post located in a home for persons with mild physical and mental disabilities and changed it into a hub of comprehensive, holistic and person-centred care for residents and staff of the home, as well as individuals and families in the neighbouring communities and its environs. The Department of Family Medicine of the University College Hospital, Ibadan, with the aid of a benefactor, reorganised a modest health facility to include the services of family medicine senior registrars (undergoing training-related rotations) with supervision by consultant family physicians. Family physicians led the primary health care team that provided both facility-based care and community outreach services. This report demonstrates how family physicians can improve the quality of primary health care and outcomes such as health equity in the community served.

Keywords

family medicine; primary health care; health equity; comprehensive care; Nigeria; Ibadan

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