Given the healthcare system situation, Nigerian citizens have raised their voices, urging the government to urgently address the burden of personal medical expenses and bolster the healthcare infrastructure. Central to their concerns are the pressing issues of accessibility, affordability, and the quality of healthcare services. There is a growing demand for equipped medical facilities, a proficient healthcare workforce, and a strong health insurance system to guarantee comprehensive medical care for every Nigerian. This information was shared during an exclusive interview with Science Nigeria, in Abuja, on Jan 1st, commemorating the onset of the New Year.
The need for an enhanced healthcare system that emphasizes accessibility, affordability, and quality services has emerged as a prominent concern in Nigeria, according to Science Nigeria. A significant issue highlighted by Mrs. Stella Luka, a 42-year-old teacher, is the necessity for improved healthcare accessibility. Mrs. Luka emphasized that numerous communities, particularly in rural regions, suffer from a lack of access to fundamental healthcare services. Consequently, urban health facilities bear an unequal share of the burden, which have led to overcrowding and extended waiting periods, she said.
Exorbitant medical costs often discourage people.
She further urged the government to allocate funds towards the expansion of healthcare facilities and the establishment of medical services in underserved areas in this new year. Mrs. Adama Sule, a civil servant suffering from asthma for more than a decade, emphasized the importance of affordability. She highlighted how exorbitant medical cost and the cost of medications often discourage people from seeking essential healthcare. She said numerous Nigerians face extreme difficulty in bearing the costs of essential medical care, coupled with the expenses associated with specialized therapies.
Mrs. Adama pointed out the necessity for the government to implement measures that would lead to greater affordability of healthcare such as reduction in the exorbitant prices of medical procedures and medications. Also, Mr. Possible Chinedu, a clergyman, emphasized the utmost significance of competent healthcare professionals. He opined that the scarcity of proficient physicians, nurses, and other medical practitioners has persistently plagued the country. Chinedu maintained a strong conviction that ensuring the provision of high-quality care to the entire population hinged on making investments in healthcare worker education and retention.
Nigeria is grappling with a load of infectious diseases.
Mr. Issac Nosa, a renowned Entrepreneur, has expressed his utmost concern for disease prevention. According to him, the country is grappling with a significant load of infectious diseases like malaria, tuberculosis, and HIV/AIDS. Nosa firmly believes that the year 2024 demands efficient measures for controlling these diseases through increased investments in preventive healthcare, comprising vaccination campaigns, extensive public health education, and more enhanced sanitation practices. Mrs. Tabitha Marcus, a retired nurse, said attention also needs to be directed toward maternal and child health.
According to her, the nation ranked among the highest in maternal and child mortality rates globally. Thus, she called for enhanced maternal and neonatal healthcare provisions, proficient birth attendants, and urgent obstetric facilities. Mrs. Marcus asserted that allocating funds towards enhancing maternal and child health would preserve lives and also foster national development in 2024. Mrs. Mercy Adejo, the Founder of Women Strengthening Women in Nigeria, emphasized the significance of community engagement, health awareness campaigns, and mental health support, alongside those essential factors previously mentioned.
Prioritizing healthcare in govt’s policy agenda is crucial.
Adejo believed that community involvement, health issue awareness, and addressing mental health concerns would help in establishing a comprehensive and responsive healthcare system nationwide. Dr. Solomon Chollom, a virologist and Public Health expert, stated that prioritizing healthcare in the government’s policy agenda is crucial to tackle existing challenges. Chollom said there is a need for securing more funds, devising strategic plans, and implementing cutting-edge medical technologies within the country in 2024. These steps, he said, would pave the way for a healthcare system that caters to the populace’s requirements while fostering the country’s overall well-being.