A selection of health stories from the Press


…a selection of stories from the press on our health sector as we enter the new year…

Twice in the outgoing year, the President showed his lack of confidence and commitment to Nigeria’s health sector by travelling abroad for medical treatment. In the outgoing year, the former governors, including Lucky Igbinedion of Edo; Orji Kalu (Abia) and Chimaroke Nnamani of Enugu, sought for the release of their international passports to go for medical treatments abroad. Former governors are not alone in the craze for foreign treatment. In January, the Kaduna State Government, out of tax payers’ money, paid for foreign treatments of the Deputy Governor, Mr. Patrick Yakowa; the Secretary to the State Government, Mr. Waje Yayok and the Speaker of the state House of Assembly, Mallam Abdulahi Adamu.

Thisday – Resign, Lagos Tells Striking Doctors
Lagosians may be in for an unhealthy start to the new year as the face-off between the doctors and the state government has taken a new turn, with the Commissioner for Health, Dr Jide Idris, asking doctors planning to embark on strike today to resign their appointments.

Daily Trust – As general hospitals become ‘killing grounds’.
Mr Mike Okon was an expectant father as he sat on the bench outside the labour room of the maternity ward of the Wuse General Hospital, anxiously awaiting the news of his wife’s delivery. She had just been taken into the labour room and laid on the delivery bed by the nurses who attended to her. But barely ten minutes later, noisy arguments from the labour room jarred on his nerves and he went in to take a look when he saw his wife cursing and dragging along her heavy frame towards the exit door. On enquiry, he was simply told by the nurses that since his wife’s baby “is not ready to come out, she should please stand up and give other women the bed.

The Guardian – Nigerian applies for leave to stay in the UK on health grounds because going home “amounts to passing a death sentence”
A Nigerian travelled to the United Kingdom, accompanied by his wife, a few years ago on a business trip. While on this trip, Mr Chukwu , who suffered from hypertension and diabetes, developed a cerebrovascular accident that led to a left-sided hemiplagia with some degree of dysarthria. This means that he developed a stroke that led to the paralysis of the left side of his body with some difficulty in making speech. Following discharge from the hospital, Mr Chukwu continued to receive medical care at a nursing home in London. When this misfortune sets in, he exhausted the money on him, including those remitted to him from Nigeria by family and friends. His wife resulted to doing early morning odd jobs, cleaning and the likes, to raise money so as to make ends meet. One day, at about six in the morning and while at work, Mrs Chukwu was arrested by the police and immigration officials for working illegally in the UK. It was discovered that Mr and Mrs Chukwu came to the UK on a six month visa that had expired. This visa did not permit either Mr or Mrs Chukwu to work in the UK. Mrs Chukwu was subsequently prosecuted and spent 5 months in jail. Not only this, she and her husband also faced deportation back to Nigeria.

BBC – Breathing life into Niger Delta clinics
An ill person paddles a canoe for two days across the world’s richest oil fields for access to the most basic healthcare or children walking five to 10 miles in search of medical care only to find a crumbling building and not a doctor in sight.

Lagos State State Governor, Babatunde Raji Fashola, commissioned a ultra-modern (dont we love this word) BT Paediatric/Family Medicine Complex and BT Health and Diagnostic Centre at the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH), Ikeja. These two projects were part of the encompassing four-year infrastructural development plan for the state health sector, in line with government’s policy thrust as outlined in its 10-point agenda (as opposesd to the president’s 7-point agenda :)).

Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed people can change the world; indeed it is the only thing that ever has…Margaret Mead

Chikwe Ihekweazu is an epidemiologist and consultant public health physician. He is the Editor of Nigeria Health Watch, and the Managing Partner of EpiAfric (www.epiafric.com), which provides expertise in public health research and advisory services, health communication and professional development. He previously held leadership roles at the South African National Institute for Communicable Diseases and the UK's Health Protection Agency. Chikwe has undertaken several short term consultancies for the World Health Organisation, mainly in response to major outbreaks. He is a TED Fellow and co-curator of TEDxEuston.

Discussion4 Comments

  1. “(as opposesd to the president’s 7-point agenda :)).”


    I’m not sure if you are from Lagos, but I can tell you that we Lagosians are busy talking about our beloved governor. It seems that overall, the people are very pleased with his work in the State of Lagos. I for one, am happy to see progress and thus am willing to forgive many of his shortcomings.

    And yes, Lagos state has a 10 point agenda. I wonder what that says about the federal government which is much despise din Lagos.

    This post will be featured in an upcoming post at Nigerian Curiosity.

    Please keep up the great work.

  2. Hello and welldone for your job on this site. It is EXTREMELY infomative an allows us to keep an eye on the health situation in Nigeria.

    Please could you take a look at the association for good clinical practice, nigeria website and if possible have it added to your links? http://agcpng.org/index.htm

    If you’d like to know more, just leave a comment and I’ll contact you via email.

    Regards… O

  3. “Dr Jide Idris, asking doctors planning to embark on strike today to resign their appointments.” just when you thought it was safe to go outside and protest.

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