We are no longer sitting on a keg of gun powder as they say it. The bomb has exploded, and we are dying on a daily basis
The Ekeremandu conviction brought it home graphically, the parlous state of our health system.
We now have only 24,000 doctors and need to produce at least 12,000 annually for five years to meet at least the minimum standards recommended by international authorities.
We are said to produce only 3,000 annually and export about 4,000 annually, leaving us with a deficit of 1,000.
It is no wonder that we are all losing loved ones daily..my Erelu died an avoidable death..we were waiting for a nephrollogist who comes only tuesdays and we got there Wednesday and before the next Tuesday that she was due, Erelu had passed.
Anger could not describe my feelings, but now it’s pity. It’s two years later, and I am seeing things differently.
Manpower is non-existent in the health sector. Conditions of service for even the ones remaining are below standards, and as such, health care provision is worse than pre historic times
It’s no wonder that Ekeremandu is facing a 10year jail time and it’s no wonder all successive Presidents from Yaradua down to the President Elect and any Government official worth his salt goes outside for the slightest migraine.
How we contained Ebola and Covid remains a major miracle with the condition of our health sector.
The worst hit is my demographic – 45 to 60. We in middle age are dogged by aging illnesses like diabetes, bp, and prostrate to mention a few.
With the situation, mortality in that range is almost at an all-time high. With the mortality rate at a high 50 years of age, which is quite sad.
During the last elections, I listened very carefully to the major candidates both at the presidential and gubernatorial levels, and they didn’t seem to connect to the wahala that is in the health sector
They instead continued to fight over other things including calling opponents ‘sons of bitches’ with no credible plan for the health sector.
My take is for an immediate push towards preventive medicine. Government and private sector shd handshake in pushing out campaigns that encourages preventive medicine in the immediate short term
Healthy lifestyles, diets, exercises shd be encouraged and even made compulsory.
This would push back a lot of illnesses, reduce stress in the system and allow for an immediate concentration on geriatric medicine and other such unavoidable illnesses
The average Nigerian is very healthy. Poverty has strengthened his imunity and reliance on unprocessed raw foods, which has also boosted his health status
So, a push towards prevention medicine will go a long way.
Another short to mid-term startegy could be the increased regulation of herbal medicine with a view to bringing it closer to mainstream.
Standardization, training, and modernisation are key. They are closer to grassroots and are easily affordable and accessible.
Then, mid to long term Government with tax rebates, customs duties, and other such incentives must begin to encourage private sector participation at the three levels of medicine. Very key.
Lastly, the production of manpower in the sector must be ramped up immediately.
Quick 2 year intervention courses to handle primary and some secondary illnesses while we begin a long term.plan of producing more experts and infrastructure.
The government should back out of it totally if you ask me. Sell off the hospitals to private bodies who will bring efficiency and which would eventually drop the cost
See hospitals like Jolaad being run by private equity concerns is meeting these standards. This must be replicated nationwide.
There must be a sense of urgency. Otherwise, more big men will face the Ekweramandu wahala on the lighter side, and on the major side, we would most likely lose over 20% of our population to avoidable health issues
Duke of Shomolu