A typical reference point of the messy Nigeria health sector is its healthcare delivery system.
Truly speaking, about every averagely informed person in Nigeria and the diaspora knows where this country is in terms of medical advancement and safe healthcare.
Its a quagmire, or even still a retrogression to be honest.
You cant be “well to do” and care less about the facility you receive medical attention in Nigeria. Except maybe you got “spare lives” and can afford to part with your current life.
Because in the event of a mishap; perhaps something goes wrong during the course of your treatment or after the treatment. You will have yourself to blame by yourself and your fellow “wealthy” .
Hence what would you rather do?
From the outset you “fly” yourself out to “first world countries” with dedicated first class healthcare delivery systems which are vetted and reliable beyond doubt. Of course, the Nigerians who fly out are the wealthy ones to which the huge medical bills are nothing
Where does that leave the middle class who manage to go by. And by go by, they are left behind to make do with the “sketchy” healthcare system on ground which is not just moribund, but it’s delivery is at cut throat fees.
Or still, more disadvantaged are,
The low class and “ultra low class” as they can be called – who can barely afford a meal a day. How much less afford healthcare when illness strikes.
Such impoverishment coerces the poor man, who in a bid to not drown in the deathly combination of abject poverty and ill health to resort to all sorts of nasty and injurious healthcare options.
Alternatives set up by quacks who touting themselves as head of patent medicine outlets and trado-medical setups operate way outside their jurisprudence. Causing harm to the ignorant masses who patronize them.
Its about that time we realize that anyone who doesn’t know jack about anatomy, physiology, physio-pathology and pharmacology but off the top of his head tries to modify a living organisms behavior and internal environment with chemical compounds – drugs, in the presence or absence of disease. May just be establishing him\herself as a murderer.
Everyday, a myriad of instances go unreported, where poor folks who can’t afford quality healthcare fall victims to wrong over the counter treatment orders dished out by patent medicine store owners and herbalists.
Unfortunately, a lot of these sore vices go unnoticed and unchecked because of certain reasons:
- Peoples ignorance of the subject of healthcare which is most times beyond the scope of those not healthcare professionals.
- The huge gap barrier between the ignorant poor and reliable source of authentic health information – from actual professionals – which more often than not requires a paid consultation to bridge. Sometimes at quite costly fees.
Many times, the damages done to the health of victims are revealed later on after repeated assaults of wrongly administered drugs on their delicate organs and system structures.
There are various reports of perforated gastric ulcers due to NSAID abuse by laborers and farmers who feel obligated to take them.
Again they are prescribed by no other persons but the unqualified patent medicine store owners who don’t really know the implications of wrong prescription’s other than to turn in generous profits.
If there wasn’t a need for professionalism in treating persons the world over. Nurses, doctors, pharmacists, and other allied health team members wouldn’t be needed.
They would not then be required to operate under governing bodies, possess a laid out “ethics code” and sometimes require practicing licences which they guard judiciously. Licenses which could be revoked in the event of a malpractice error.
Not left out is the fact that these professionals who tow the noble vocation of saving lives have to update their scope and knowledge pool regularly in keeping with international best practices.
But what do we have operating full scale in Nigeria today. An unhealthy situation where all sorts of self acclaimed “treatment” provider’s void of credentials, are having a field day beating into the ground the health of the impoverished population. Simply because they seem to have no other viable option.
But there is hope for our beloved country. Profound hope if only the treasure that is the Nigerian Nurse is harnessed in way’s never imagined.