Specialist seeks improved communication between patients, medical personnel

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Lagos  –   A molecular biologist, Dr Bamidele Iwalokun, has called for improved communication between patients and medical personnel in public hospitals.

Iwalokun, who is the Head, Immunology and Vaccinology Research Department, Nigerian Institute of Medical Research, Yaba, made the call in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Thursday in Lagos.

He said the call became necessary because of the lukewarm attitude of medical personnel towards patients.


“The appropriate intervention for that is IPC (inter-personal communication) and awareness creation.

“How a healthcare provider communicates with his or her patient is very crucial.

“Test will definitely take time, but the time that test will take, 15 minutes; within that 15 minutes I can decide to weigh that patient, take the height of the patient.

“Ask the patient questions; I will buy time and that 15 minutes will go.

“There shouldn’t be an idle time in a health facility. Patients should be engaged within the time that they are expecting their test results.

“And by so doing, they will not feel that they have wasted time.

“We need to improve the quality of our IPC – how we relate, how we engage them.

“Hospital should be user-friendly.

“There should be a lot of posters, then screens showing all those things that will engage patients. “


The specialist urged people to imbibe the habit of going for tests when they feel unwell.

“Testing will allow a clinician to differentially rule out malaria, for instance, if it is negative and suspect other diseases that have symptoms like malaria because, the clinical symptoms of malaria is shared by respiratory illnesses, sepsis, by many clinical conditions.

“So, it is important a suspected disease is ruled out so that the clinicians can probe other diseases and get the patients well treated because if that is not done, the actual cause of illness is delayed.

“Drugs administered will be wasted, resulting to poor quality of care.” (NAN)