Early during the week, a tweet broke a section of Nigerian Twitter. The tweet described the lack of enough female OB/GYNs in Nigeria as disturbing. The response by Nigerian health practitioners (male and female alike) was interesting, to say the least. Kindly read along to see what we found out following some research.
How Many Female OBGYNs Are In Nigeria?
There isn’t enough data on this. However, a 2015 study to determine the coverage of pediatricians and gynecologists in Nigeria discovered that there were 968 OB/GYNs in Nigeria, and 846(87.4%) are male. One thing is sure; we don’t have enough female OB/GYNs in the country. Why?
Do Women Prefer Female OB/GYNs In Nigeria?
Yes. This study lists communication ability, religion, knowledge, experience, expertise, and sympathy are among the top reasons why they do.
Why Don’t We Have Enough Women Specialists In OB/GYN?
We couldn’t find any studies that explained the reasons. However, interactions with female medical doctors and medical students have helped shed some light on the issue. First, the OB/GYN space has been male-dominated since its inception in Nigeria. That is the first obstacle to many females who want the specialty.
Next, the training is highly demanding. In Nigeria, the residency pathway for almost all specialties is very challenging. However, there are less demanding ones, and OB/GYN is nowhere near that list. In the Nigerian cultural scene, many women have to find a way to balance work and family. Hence, it’s easier to go for less burdensome medical specialties.
Another reason is that some female doctors and medical students don’t like OB/GYN. Some can’t withstand the invasiveness of the procedures because they are women too. The procedures are generally painful and ‘messy’ too. Not all female doctors want to deal with this.
For some female health practitioners, the legal issues in the specialty are discouraging. The risk of litigation, given the sensitive nature of the specialty, is high too. Some female doctors don’t want to deal with that.
Why Do We Need More Female OB/GYNs?
The patient is the most important entity in healthcare. Women are generally more comfortable with female OB/GYNs. The reasons are quite obvious and have been stated. That is why we need more female OB/GYNs.
The question is, what can we do?
References: Links To Studies In Article.