Rising voices for health in the Nigerian press


We have often wondered why the Nigerian press has kept relatively quiet on the state of the health sector in Nigeria.

Why is no one upset?

For health, as for Education…there are no off-the-shelve solutions available. Unfortunately, we cannot get Julius Berger to sort out the health sector. If we could…we would.

But…there might be change in the air.

Simon Kolawole in his premium column in THISDAY asks; Just How Sick are Nigerian Hospitals?

Like the good journalist he is…he framed it around the personal story of his driver’s experiences…

“…The person who was supposed to issue registration cards had taken a stroll”

“…Card issued, they waited for another one hour to see the doctor”

“…The lady, who said she was not a card issuer, was obviously the one who would grant them access to the doctor, but she was busy talking and gisting on “MTN Xtra Cool””

“…here was no bed space, so he would refer them to Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH), Ikeja,”

…no bed space again..so they went to LUTH

“…LUTH is the worst so far,” he said. “The lady who attended to us was so merciless.”

“…He moved his father to a private clinic across the road where he was asked to deposit N150,000 before treatment would commence”

Last Wednesday, early in the morning, he received a call informing him that his father had died.

Why is no one listening to these stories…WHY?


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.

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