[Dataset] Identifying challenges in implementing child rights instruments in Nigeria; a nationwide survey of knowledge, perception, and practice of child rights among doctors and nurses

Published: 18 November 2022| Version 1 | DOI: 10.17632/6xbrfggdtc.1
Patience Ahmed,
Iretiola Babaniyi,
Oluseyi Oniyangi,
Mariya Mukhtar-Yola,
Adeola Adelayo,
Yewande Wey,
uchenna ononiwu,
sanni abiola,
Bilkis Adeleye,
lamidi audu


We aimed to examine knowledge, perception, and practice of child rights and the influence of demographics among Nigerian doctors and nurses. A descriptive cross-sectional online study of Nigerian doctors and nurses practicing at home and abroad. A structured multiple-choice questionnaire was prepared on ‘Google form’. Knowledge, perception, and practice of child rights were examined under the following themes: major child rights instruments, specific child rights in the CRA, definition of a child, child education, age of criminal responsibility, age of marriage and consent for sexual intercourse, child labour, adolescent reproductive health, physical punishment and rebuke, female circumcision, child adoption, child legitimacy, family court, freedom of thoughts and religion, and child rights advocacy. All questions had mutually exclusive options from which respondents were expected to select their answers. All questions required one answer except for one question (identifying the specific rights of the child) in which more than one answer was expected. In all, there were 13 knowledge, 31 perception, and 10 practice questions. After a pilot test, participants were recruited using the non-probability technique. The link to the questionnaire was sent (through WhatsApp platform and Email) to Nigerian doctors and nurses practicing at home and abroad. Potential respondents were reached in each of the six geopolitical zones of the country through personal contacts and professional groups. Due to the sensitivity of the questions, and to guarantee completely anonymous and possibly the most honest responses, no identifying information was required from the respondents. They were required to fill the form only once, and in addition, the link to submit another response was disabled. Data was collected between September 2021 and January 2022. Each correct or compliant response was awarded a score of ‘1’ in each of the three assessment domains. One question was excluded from the perception score, and three from the practice score; hence, a total of 13 knowledge, 30 perception and 7 practice questions were analyzed. Performance was measured on frequency and ratio scales. Mean scores were compared with 50% and 75% thresholds; performance was graded as good, sufficient, or poor. Chi-square was used to compare proportions. One-sample Student t-test, independent sample Student t-test and ANOVA were used to compare mean scores, as appropriate. Significance was set at p < 0.05. A total of 821 practitioners were analyzed (doctors, 49.8%; nurses, 50.2%). Female to male ratio was 2:1 (doctors, 1.2:1; nurses, 3.6:1). Overall, the knowledge score was 45.1%, the perception score was 58.4%, and the practice score was 67.0%. Most knowledgeable were medical fellows and pediatric practitioners. Females and southerners performed better in perception. In the practice domain, nurses performed better, and of all qualifications, post basic nurses recorded the best score.



Wirral University Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, Banner Behavioral Health Hospital, Kaduna State University, National Hospital Abuja, North West Anglia NHS Foundation Trust, National Postgraduate Medical College of Nigeria


Human Rights, Child Abuse, Child Health, Healthcare Practitioner