Thought Leadership Series

Who will cast the first stone?

by ndubuisi edeoga
It seems everywhere I look its always bad news coming from Nigeria, bad news about Nigeria and an even worse future for Nigeria. Lets leave out our president, for he can go to Germany, lets leave out our Police chiefs for they plan to abroad to get good health care, lets try to forget about our health minister in whom we had so much hope, lets no think about the Niger delta issue, lets not think about the Hib’s, pneumoccocal, measles polio, HIV, in fact lets not think about anything but about ourselves.

How can we acting individually and in concert achieve enduring change. Lets start from me, I jumped on a scale recently and got my weight , quickly moved to Google and used their quick BMI calculator and arrived at some not too surprising quantity. I jumped on the treadmill and have since become inseparable from that beast.Well how easy it is for us to counsel our patients, friends, and relatives about the dangers of obesity and forget about ourselves, the shield of self indestructibility. Is it time we remove the log from our eyes before we look for specks in our patients, rulers or policy makers eyes.

How many of us in private practice lead by examples. I was speaking with two of my colleagues in Kaduna, Nigeria. Both doing very well by all standards, sizable patient load, nice steady income, comfortable lifestyles that I envy my “diaspora” existences and all its glory. Do you know they both use their extra fast computers/laptops in their offices for checking emails…and…..

Now how can we blame our country, our failed rulers, policy makers for having no records or data when we need them. Who do we blame for failing our patients, remember you took that Hippocratic oath all by yourself. Do you know if my two friends used their computer power to keep effective medical records of all their patients, we would know how many cases of malaria they have each week, we would know how many kids actually get Hibs, pneumoccocal , measles, and these other dangerous diseases. Then we can reasonably extrapolate, then we can have more accurate measures of progress or non progress. Then we can measure progress.

We can all make a change in our lives and in the lives of people that depend on us…only if we take the first step. Change always has the snowball effect, I bet you if those doctors let their patients know that they keep their records on the computer( novelty effect..eehen “he even keeps our records on his computer”), who knows it might even attract more patients, more bottom line, and eventually more doctors would copy them…How else can we achieve social change except by doing?

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

2 replies on “Who will cast the first stone?”

I got introduced to this site only yesterday and I am so pleased with the quality of work here. It is delightful to see colleagues of similar mindset and approach contributing their quota to health in Nigeria.Even if it is just by talking about the problems we have in an objective manner with possible solutions proferred. This is where we need to start from because people just aren’t asking any questions-why should we have such abysmal EPI/NPI coverage, why should we still have measles and cholera outbreaks, what is NMA as well as other like my colleagues in paediatrics, etc doing about the parlous state of health in Nigeria and the obvious lack of direction…?I could go on and on.
Kudos to you guys and please keep this up.

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