Our leaders keep providing us with not just comic relief but actions that leave us in sober reflection, one that keeps us muting if there is hope, sadly as a nation we keep soldiering on...
In the recent past I have written on our health problem, I have maintained the our health care delivery system is in shambles. I have also not ceased to say that all that most Nigerians see on Television and read in the papers about development and improvement in that sector are all big lies.
Yar'Adua was in Germany, officially to treat cough, breathlessness, and catarrh and then on the extreme unofficially kidney related problems, while his archrival Atiku was in the United Kingdom to do a ligament surgery.
In the words of Atiku's campaign media chief, we have the doctors to do the surgery but no equipment...I am at loss. In the next few lines I would borrow from my two last essays on our health problems and round up, hoping that we may put on our thinking cap and ask why and how and pray that somebody somewhere is pricked to positive action.
“Nigeria has the deadliest type of malaria with about 300,000 Thousand Nigerians dying annually “. These were the words of Dr (Mrs.) Temitope Sofola, Coordinator for the Roll Back Malaria programme. It is a pathetic case indeed, now it is not difficult to see the relationship.
“The happiest people on earth”, “one of the richest, one of the poorest”, “sixth largest oil producer” and then the world’s deadliest type of malaria. Our leaders are out there throwing political muscles at each other, hassling each others like eunuchs not being able to hit each other and stealing money left, right and center.
The Federal Medical Centers and Teaching Hospitals in Nigeria are all operating under laws that would make Lord Lugard turn in his grave. No State has been able to effectively allocate 10% of its budget to the health sector yet the Chief Health Officer’s (Governors) of most states allot 99%of their budgets to their pockets and 1% for AOB (any other business), incidentally the any other business include trips abroad for medical check up.
Animals in human skin, of the former figure of 120 million Nigerians, 1.2 million were blind, the number has increased with the new census figures. 80% of these figures were avoidable either by prevention or early treatment.
The plan must definitely be that all Nigerians go blind so that they would sell what remains of Nigeria. At least in the country of blind men a one eyed Obasanjo is king with INEC, EFCC, PDP in his farm, if he does go by May and who born monkey to voice any opposition when he cannot see.
About year ago, health activities within the capital city’s three General Hospital’s were paralyzed because of a warning strike, the nurses, doctors, health workers were begging for the implementation of a 22% increase approved for them by the government.
While this was happening, the National Assembly was more concerned about how much had been released to Aso Rock for capital projects, overhead, ‘thiefhead and swearhead’ for oath taking activities. Nigeria is a nation run by committees, panels and probes, off course how will politicians chop without committee this and panel that.
Again as Doctors were on strike, the men that are jostling for our votes are going everywhere but Nigeria for all sorts of treatment. Tell me which one of these men are treated in any State General Hospital, Ojukwu abroad, Kalu yankee, Atiku jandon, Yar'Adua germani, so my cat, Austria we go.
The bunch campaigning for our votes do not know that no citizen of the Unfederal Republic of Nigeria should be made to make a choice between health and death, between a free medical treatment, non existent one and a costly one abroad.
That the health of a nation’s citizenry should be of paramount importance. As debate-able as it may be, that all categories of health care should be provided free for Nigerians given the kind of resources at the nation’s treasury.
One of the major scandals of this administration is in the health sector. The procurement of Hospital Equipment for Teaching Hospitals across the nation by the Ministry of Death (I mean Health). No one till date has been brought to book for the crime, it was just swept under the carpet.
Sometime two years ago a very good friend of mine was involved in a car accident with spinal cord damage, limp legs and a deep cut in the neck. It became obvious that an expert neurosurgeon was required…He died shortly, even after he had been transported to UCH Ibadan, he could not take the pain anymore.
I stand to be corrected the entire nation then could only boast of barely ten of such surgeons,. The rest were either in Saudi Arabia, Dubai or Gabon. The entire North of the country at the moment has only two. One in the University Teaching Hospital Jos, Plateau State…Bad news however is that the doctor was then in far away U.S of A battling for his own life against cancer. The remaining one is supposed to be in Sokoto State. The renowned University College Hospital has only two.
Nigerians are mad. Yes! If not please kindly explain to me how rational thinking society will sit and allow its doctors go on strike. No, let me make it sound real and true as it is. As we breathed the air of September 2005, Resident Doctors of the Nations premier hospital for Kolo people (I mean the National Psychiatric Hospital in Yaba Lagos State) began a two-day warning strike.
Why? To protest acute shortage of medical personnel. This leaves us all at the mercies of madmen and women alike. Shortage of medical personnel, ironically the medical school result of that year in Lagos showed a 40% failure rate, as Tom, Dick, Harry and Alice are all admitted to do Medicine.
Last year alone, over hundred people died of gastroenteritis in Gusau, Zamfara State alone and nobody sent a sympathy text from the National Assembly, no newspaper page was bought for an Ad, rather it was just a small news column, something we call in journalism, ‘briefly’. In Nigeria the electorates’ life is brief indeed.
The Emir of Ilorin could not hide his distain when he called the University of Ilorin Teaching Hospital, a “glorified” General Hospital. Why? The maternity ward of the hospital was “experiencing” water shortage.
Infact an expectant mother had to be kept waiting for six hours before she could take her bath, the husband had to bring jerry cans of water, the short of this long episode was that as you were being admitted to the hospital apart from hospital card, clothes and drugs you were advised to tell your relations to bring water. A Teaching Hospital without life (Water).
Despite the infusion of 20,000 doctors into the system, the story is that of disorder. The Ebonyi Varsity Hospital main theatre complex was engulfed by fire destroying the entire theatre. The cause… faulty electric installation. In Nigeria it is faulty leaders, everything is faulty and can only be rectified abroad. The Fire Service came 20 minutes later, a national record, because equipments worth N300 million was still lost in the theatre that could take three surgeries at the same time.
Nigeria has an infant mortality rate of 217 babies per each 1000 compared to Cameroon’s 100, and Ghana’s 166. Off course no animal (leaders) child dies because they are born in St. Crooks Hospital England or Cathedral of Thieves Maternity in Ireland, and others born in Corruption Hospital in the U.S.A.
The premier University College Hospital needs N1 billion to rehabilitate its aged and obsolete facilities, yet our animals go abroad for stomachaches. This is a school that has produced great world-class doctors. Yet no one cares, only recently it was given a cosmetic touch along side some other teaching hospitals and business as usual continued.
These days when I get a few knocks that ordinarily should see me visit the hospital; I heal myself…how you ask? I simply remind myself of the quality of the doctors our universities are producing and look I get well.
Only recently I had reason to visit a Doctor, before I got to him, I took pains and read up all the literature I could of the situation real time online. By the time we started talking, the doctor kept nodding his head, at a point he started taking notes, naively he blurted out "how do you know these things…some are new to me" (not exact words).
You can imagine the doctor’s diagnosis, prescription and remedial treatment was a case of terminological inexactitude, lies and a lack of knowledge. It is ‘ungratifying’ to know that not much can be done because in Nigeria, each man to himself, God for us all.
The rich with stolen wealth fly to Germany to tackle headache, mere waist pain and heartburn caused by heartless stealing and calculation of stolen money. And the poor die of mosquito bite as an illness and hunger inflicted by poverty.
A very questionable and fraudulent National Health Insurance Scheme has refused to leave the drawing board because they have not been able to discover how they would steal from the scheme. The National Hospital in Abuja FCT has moved from one board to another and the result abysmal failure.
In this century, this millennium Nigerians are dying of malaria and still playing the politics of polio. Hell on earth, hell in Nigeria, I was the other day privy to see the booking list for surgery at one of our empty (Teacher-less) Teaching Hospitals. I was marveled that a patient with hernia after 'PROPER' diagnosis was booked for surgery in eight months time, what value for life!
The doctor friend of mine I confronted lamented the dearth of qualified doctors and what he termed the ‘Away syndrome’ the few of them were waiting for an opportunity to leave. Despite the shortage of nurses in our hospitals, every student nurse’s dream is practicing in USA, UK, Saudi and Canada.
Nigerians are die-hard, every thing in our entire system sucks of dirt…that is why after surgery scissors was left inside of a patient because the theatre was poorly lit. And no action what so ever was taken against the hospital.
To the suffering masses of this unjust society of ours I say let them take solace in the fact that they will surely see heaven. As already we are in hell now. While our leaders will surely see hell, as they are in heaven already…no amount of money they steal can buy them an insurance against the fact.
I have lost count the number of medical visas issued everyday. These days our animals have learnt to use that method to 'thief' more money.
I want to write on, but like the proverbial ram, let me retreat for now, not out of fear but to gather strength. Insha Allah, when it starts let no one say that we did not warn them because for every push there is a limit, forget perseverance, there is a limit, hmmmm... there is a limit, I say so, Almighty Allah You are watching.
For: Center For Free Speech And Expression (CFES)
Public Policy Market...Marketplace Of Ideas
Yours In The Service Of Nation...For the Good Of All
And In High Regards...I Remain
Prince Charles Dickson
Jos, Plateau Nigeria
234-0803 331 1301, 234-0805 715 2301
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Skinner Greater Manchester., United kingdom. March 22, 2007
Hmmmmmmmmmm,true talk.My broda (Charles) you don try boo,the prayer be sey make Baba GOD let dem hear,bot e 4 beta if any of their family memba go fit collect one copy of this article for dem to read may be dem go fit sit down an tink say everytin 4 dis life na notin bot vanity.
My prayer be sey piipu like yu no go finish 4 Naija.....amen.
Idris Abubakar Houston Texas, United States Of America March 21, 2007
tell you what i think we all deserve this.
we are nothing but a nation peopled with
cowardise. no body want to die.
the days of fajuyi, nzeogu, ironsi, murtala have gone for good. may Allah bless their souls.
cos if they are alive these rubbish wont prevail.all you have left are pot belly generals, igs, chief of staffs etc. Allah has blessed us with everything imaginable.
he wont come down to do everything for us that is why He gave us brains and guts. unfortunately its empty upstairs for most of us and lacking guts.
lets wallow in self pity and wait till end of times.
may be manner will fall from above
segun Akinola Birmingham, UK March 21, 2007
I am sorry for my Country Nigeria with the dearth of health professionals. As reported we have everything that will make Nigeria the best country in the world but our leaders are not paying much attention to our health problems.
I am a health professional working in UK and I should not be blamed for turning my back on My Counrty having worked for almost 25 years in Nigeria with nothing to show for all my labour. No equipments in the hospitals, salaries are not even paid when due talk less of promotions.
How could any reasonable person leave a job of £35,000 p/a with other fringe benefits and say you want to work in Nigeria. this has nothing to do with patriotism but the fact of life.
Some of my friends that even retired back home have not been paid their pension for the past 15 months ( OYO STATE in particular) while the politicians are giving themselves huge salaries
Nigeria has the best brains in Madicine,Surgery and other health related discipline in the world, and yet the goverment cannot take care of the Doctors and Nurses.
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