Thisday – ‘Nigeria Needs Hospital for Presidential Treatment’


Sometimes it is difficult to decide on whether to get angry at the impunity of our so called leaders or sad at their ignorance. It is even more astonishing when this impunity or ignorance is displayed with so much arrogance. But that is our country.

Thisday reports that OUR House of Representatives yesterday took a swipe at the deplorable state of hospitals in Nigeria and declared that Nigeria deserved a health institution that should provide presidential treatment.

Thisday further reports that OUR House of Representatives said it was appalling that at 49 we lacked a health facility that should provide adequate health care for the office of the President.

In a moment of revelation – OUR House of Representatives came up with a magical analysis and proposed solution:

“The National Hospital is a strategic health institution and deserves more in terms of funding”

Just this week the Leadership reported on a N253.7 Million Contract Scam at OUR National hospital…this same week!

And…no it is not a new problem. Below is an article reminding us of 2002 (it feels like so long ago) …first OUR National Hospital was given out to the International Hospital Group to “manage” and after they basically ran it to ground…our President in his infinite wisdom appointed an Interim Board for the Hospital  in April 2003 headed by a lawyer and his Special Assistant, Hon Musa Elayo to turn around the Hospital within three months. Interestingly, Obasanjo charged Elayo to

“fix the hospital to a standard where I, the Vice President, the secretary to the Government of the Federation, the ministers and top government officials will receive treatment instead of going abroad.”

Subsequently ….a new management was appointed led by the President Obasanjo’s personal physician Dr. Olusegun Ajuwon OON. He remains the medical director…..

Now we can see how our National Hospital is managed….How do we really expect it to deliver….

One day the people will reclaim their country from their “Representatives” ….until such a time our National Hospital will remain what it is – a most public example of the failure of our country to provide its most basic needs even to its most privileged people.

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 (, 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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