”Health is wealth” has become a cliche over the past years in Nigeria. It’s no longer news that health workers in Nigeria always embark on strike actions. Why would this be so? Why would the very sector meant to be one of the most important be neglected or taken for granted.
The rate at which politicians shoulder major expensive projects to the detriment of the public health sector is but an eye soar and a big slap on the country as a whole.
Following the shabbles most public hospital have been left in, most of the doctors has resort to building and owing their private hospital in a bid to make it all standard, this in turn means more bill on the expense of citizens of the country.
Recently, the novel covid-19 pandemic has blown and had shone more light on the inadequacy and inefficiency of the health facilities in Nigeria.
Recall that during the very onset of the pandemic as of the months of March, June and July, the Federal Government had ordered states to build and equip an isolation center. It was culled that most isolation centers in some of the states that eventually yield to the order was nothing to write home about. It was equally gathered that most covid-19 patients were left in agony with nothing and no oneleft to care for their needs in those out casted and non equipment excuse of an isolation center.
Amidst the Abuja Declaration which demands the Federal Government of Nigeria to constantly set a targeted amount of a minimum of 15 percent annually for Health care in the country, the country is yet to witness a steady allocation on the health sector.
It could be vividly recalled that the present administration of Muhammadu Buhari on his 2015 campaigning, the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari had laid off series of affirmation concerning the health sector in the country.
As could be recalled, he had vowed to shoot up the number of health operatives, he also mentioned investing
in tele-medicine in all major health environments and also to maximize the quality of every Federal Government-owned hospitals to world-class criteria as of the year 2019.
Yet, amidst all the pre election promises and empty waste of manifestos the health sector in Nigeria has continue to be neglected basically on its primary rights amidst the strike action protests by the worried and concerned health workers. Most hospitals continue to lay in waste and in lack of management both financially and structure wise.
The sorry state of the country’s health system is the major reasons Ministers and other highly influenced personalities in Nigeria go on a medical tour abroad. It’s obvious they do not trust the system and it’s more saddening that they wouldn’t lift a muscle to do or add more to the glory of this sector in the country. Rather, these government majors only on expensive buildings and projects. They erect huge edifices all over the country. Take the EFCC building situated in Abuja, the PDTF tower also in Abuja just to mention but a few are where the Federal Government unwisely spend lots of money while paying deaf ears and blind eyes to the shitty state of the health sector.
Role Of COVID-19
Furthermore, as was rightly mentioned earlier, the novel pandemic quickly catalysed the collapsing effect of the poor health facilities. It exposed the short comings of the sector and left some Nigerians in despair.
If Charity truly begins at home, then this pandemic is a highlighter to do the needful as no one knew or foresaw the coming of the pandemic, so do we not know what the future holds. And in a bid to be fully ready and prepared come what may, the country needs a total health reformation.
Reaffirming to this, Enabulele uttered “I do not, therefore, think that anybody needs any other lesson, apart from the learning point from the current challenge of COVID-19, to know that, going forward, health has to be top priority in terms of investment decisions of government at all levels, and even decisions of all of us as Nigerians…”
He equally went ahead to say that most foreign countries with lesser heath conflicts have resorted to given and to placing their health sector as a top priority whereas Nigeria is yet to consider it’s health sector. In his final speech, he called on to the Nigerian Government to shove back it’s gaze upon health sector by making provisions for the frontline health workers and making sure that there’s every needed/major health equipments, in all government-owned hospitals, research centers, Medical colleges just to mention a few of them.
The right time to rebuild the country’s most important sector was years ago, the second best time is now! It’s never too late to start if the change is from the heart.
Majority have argued on the subject of putting an end to foreign medical trips, so that there would be no option left but to reform the system. But then, you couldn’t possibly deny someone a right to life by denying him access to spend his own money. It’s a different case to not want to sponsor one with the Government money, but where by such person could afford this trip, it would only be inhumane to try to stop them.
Having said all that, the only and viable solution to end the underlying condition of the state of health facilities in Nigeria is an immediate response from the Federal Government.
According to the WHO’s stipulated allocation to health, the Nigeria government should be willing and ever ready to invest in the health sector of it’s country. Because only when we put hands together to make it work, only then would we shine our lights even brighter.