Challenges with medical education in Nigeria in the COVID-19 era

Pan Afr Med J. 2020 Nov 6;37:223. doi: 10.11604/pamj.2020.37.223.26418. eCollection 2020.


On March 20th 2020 the Federal Government of Nigeria ordered the closure of all educational institutions, this was inclusive of all medical schools in the country. During the initial phases of this closure, most institutions were at a loss on how to proceed with learning as universities in Nigeria use mainly the didactic lecturing model. As the lockdown progressed it became imperative to the institutions to set up e-learning media for continued instruction of students. It was found that in the institutions with e-learning facilities, the preclinical years remained mostly unaffected by the closure of medical schools due to the COVID-19 pandemic, while all institutions came to a standstill as regards providing a suitable alternative for clinical exposure. This therein has caused loss of valuable time and a change in the calendar of the school year, making it uncertain as to when the next set of qualified medical professionals will emerge in Nigeria. In this essay, we take a look at medical education in Nigeria, its challenges and progression in the COVID-19 era. We also take a look at the effect of the pandemic on learning and the subsequent interventions introduced to mitigate it.

Keywords: Coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19); Nigeria; medical education.

MeSH terms

  • COVID-19*
  • Education, Distance / methods*
  • Education, Medical / methods*
  • Humans
  • Learning
  • Nigeria
  • Quarantine
  • Schools, Medical*
  • Students, Medical*