Violence against Healthcare Workers in Nigeria: The Way Forward


Abstract: Violence against health workers is any act of verbal or physical attack, threat of violence, or obstruction of curative or preventive health service delivery. Workers anywhere are exposed to violence at the workplace but the health industry is where it occurs most frequently. This article is aimed at examining the forms of violence against health workers, the causes of violence, the legal and ethical consequences, as well as the way forward in curtailing the menace. Violence can be either physical or non-physical and includes various forms of aggression, intimidation, and threats directed at health workers while they carry out their duties. The situations that lead to such incidents are factors related to the attacker, the victim, and the health facility. A bad attitude and a communication gap are two specific health worker-related factors while alcoholism, drug addiction, and a history of violent conduct are factors associated with the attacker. There exist legal and ethics-related options for victims, and they are based on the severity of the incident as well as local laws. The patients’ safety and care are compromised by violence against health workers; hence all hands must be on deck to create urgent awareness and prevent this complex public health issue.

   Keywords: Health workers, Violence, Workplace.

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