Our Health sector problems.
The health of the particular country is more valuable than riches or high revenue from each state through millions of ministries. Not forgetting the saying “Health is wealth” but to tell you the truth; wealth is not health. If it was so every rich Nigeria will never die of any disease condition; even though the poor dies through one or two sicknesses.
The alarming fact is that many Nigerians and Africans die of preventable diseases or those that could be easily managed by capable professionals.
This increases poverty in the country as many breadwinners are lost, maternal and child mortality increases despite NGOs and W.H.O interventions, communicable disease strives easily, brilliant staffs are lost in companies and productivity level drops.
Going through our conditions in Nigeria, it has greatly limited our development and pace at which we grow in terms of GDP and population; along other problems that stirs us in the face.
How the health sector’s failure kills Nigerians
Poor health structure
we lack the right setting for establishment & maintenance in Africa. Most equipment procured is not well utilized in Nigeria and some African countries. Despite the government pumping huge amount of money to their health sector. We still see a poor structure in attending to patients, at out-patients, in-patient, pharmaceuticals care, counseling, rehabilitation, surgeries and other diagnostics procedures.
No clear-cut between commercial treatment and free treatment
Let there be definite difference between free treatment and the paid. Most free treatment campaign occurs when there is an outbreak and this lead to management of funds by officials in charge.
Corruption by scientists. Don’t be shock that some diseases that enter Nigeria and Africa are actually planned by local or foreign scientists either intentional or by mistake. Nigeria doctors/ scientists should beware and be weary.
- Lack of co-operation between health policy makers and private health institution. There is a great disparity in the health delivery in private establishment and the Government controlled institution. This is primarily because of poor communication and feedback system between the policy makers and professionals in private hospitals, pharmaceuticals, medical laboratories, dental clinics, physiotherapy centers and many more. The citizens end up paying outrageous amount to get access to the cheapest treatment procedures and access to essential medicine. Every health professional have their internal regulatory bodies; different regulators hardly come together to solve the health sector problems.
- Fight for supremacy in Government owned health institution. Absence of a district law governing appointment to juicy post in the health sector has affected quality health care delivery. Because of this doctors, pharmacist, nurses, medical lab scientist fight through political intervention to contest for this positions.
- Overlap of duties. A doctor and nurse doing the same thing in the ward or a nurse performing function of a doctor at his absence has made patients be at the receiving end and led to lack of co-operation at ward-rounds.
- The deals between Physicians and Medical representatives. Because of our unorganized drug distribution channels in Nigeria and weak regulation activities and or enforcement of policies. Different brands of drugs enter into the country, creating the advent of fake and counterfeit medicines. Most of the representative of this companies tip physician to make sure their drugs appear in most prescription creating either failure in therapy or increase in the prices of these drugs. Of course patients are at the receiving end, but everyone is generally affected.
- Few researches in to solving our indigenous health problems . Sole reliance on foreign aides and infrastructural tools is greatly limiting our thinking, planning and will power to see how we can develop techniques, equipment and drugs to solving our problems.
The way out of these problems
If nothing is done to these issues in the next few years; it will degenerate and the life expectancy in the country will be lower than any other country in the Africa.
- A system for check and balance to ensure proper utilization of funds from government or NGOs into programs that will improve the health of citizens in Nigeria.
- The issue of power must be finally solved. The effect of a lighted bulb on the health of a person is tremendous. So many disease conditions causing sudden death is as a result of darkness and slow economic progress to develop things that will keep people alive.
- Maintenance culture assessment of various hospitals on how equipment and system are handled. It’s a form of accountability to support growth and development in our public health sector.
- Compulsory health checkup should be passed into law. Properly used as means of identification or a pass to get any vital pass at any area of the country. Legislators should set up to consider this idea. A Liver function test will give a citizen a clue on proactive measures that must be done to prevent liver damage and death. Or the case of sudden diabetic emergency is when the blood sugar level is regularly carried out and regulated with appropriate medications.
- Health talks and seminars that centers on preventive health care should be officially instituted in public and private health sectors of the country. This will increase our life expectancy in Nigeria and Africa.
- Health entrepreneurship should be encouraged through focus on problem solving seminars and access to loan to facilitate projects. The truth remains that depending solely on foreign aids will make us think less and be less creative. The solution to our problems is in Nigeria and Africa; until we develop means to tackle these problems will continue to depend on aids. Public health researches must gain local support; interventions through programs and innovations will move us forward and drive economic prosperity.
- In Nigeria, there is no single working petrochemical plant, (a petrochemical plant is responsible for first synthesis of a drug molecule). So it’s just impossible for us to produce a drug from the scratch. The Nigerian Government must invest in construction of petrochemical plants for synthesis of drugs.
We can increase the life expectancy of Nigeria and reduce deaths that are avoidable.