Health Care Delivery Services not Adequate to Cater for Nigerians-Prof. Olagoke

Prof sabitu olagoke 1Millions of Nigerians experience great difficulties accessing quality health care. This is as result of corruption and rot in the system.

Inadequate funding, shortage of qualified personnel and non- availability of modern equipment are just a few of the several challenges affecting the health sector.

In this interview, the Founder, Spiritual Head and Grand Imam of Shafaudeen-in-Islam Wordlwide, Prof. Sabitu Olagoke says government needs to do more for the people to access quality health care services. Excerpts :

What do you think the government at all levels can do to address the myriad of challenges of the health sector ?

First and foremost health care delivery falls into three categories, the primary, secondary and tertiary.

The Local Government is saddled with the responsibility of ensuring that primary health care gets to the people at the grassroots. Expected services involve the traditional birth methods by licensed Mid-Wives with operational hours from 8.00 am to 4.00 pm.

At the advanced level, a comprehensive health care center which is supposed to have at least one Medical Doctor, who can perform at least cases of minor surgery. At this level, referrals are usually made.

 At the state level, the secondary health care represents the curative management of peoples’ health, while at the federal level, there is the tertiary health care delivery, which focuses on rehabilitation, cases are referred to this level of medical services.

All the three categories need to co-exist because health challenges vary in degree and does not respect the status of anybody in society.

However, there are challenges weighing down the three health care delivery systems. Firstly, the services are not adequate to cater for the population and geographical spread.

Also, there are the challenges of proximity, shortage of staff and drugs.

Assessment and affordability are also setbacks.

The areas that need them most are grossly neglected, that is the rural areas.

Government needs to understand that shortages result in peoples’ untimely death.

For the primary health care to be effective in serving the people, the following areas must be given adequate attention-health education, availability of sufficient drinking water, immunization, treatment of communicable and non-communicable diseases through the use of standing order, provision of essential drugs. For example, the timely treatment of health challenges using Oral Polio Vaccines(OPV) at preventive measure level.

It is imperative for government to make proviso for adequate medical services with these characteristics-management, availability, accessibility, affordability, proximity to the users, scientifically based with attendant quality and standard of World Health Organization, socially acceptable, even when it needs cost effectiveness and the use of locally available resources.

In several hospitals, grass roots level and otherwise, services are poor and government is yet to come out with policies which are people friendly.

For example, at the local level, hospitals are needed, which would be accessible to people and there would be satisfactory service delivery.

Medical centers or hospitals are supposed to have conducive environment, with good hygiene and quality facilities. Also health workers should not be in short supply and drugs should be sufficient enough to treat ailments.

Government should realize that of all the needs of man, health management cuts across the three physiological needs. Food administration that would not lead to health problems.

Clothing culture that would prevent another health challenge that may arise from extreme weather situations, while provision should be made for shelter in ways that would not result in negative health conditions.

The incoming government therefore, need to allow all professionals to practice in line with professional ethics without political interference, so that they would be able to contribute positively. The recruitment of suitably qualified personnel is highly essential in this respect.

Government must take to their professional advice and recommendations, on ideas that can make their services reach the appropriate target and goals, with the people in focus.

When the welfare of the people is addressed with all seriousness by government, productivity at work would be enhanced with dramatic efficiency for government programs to be appreciated.

Statistics of the population, based on the enumeration of the houses with specified geographical locations, wards or local governments must be addressed, to enable government know the actual number of primary health care centers and if there is need to establish more.

Peoples’ feelings on the services of the primary health care centers near them must be taken with all seriousness by government, as a a step towards addressing shortages in terms of drugs and staff, including the ethical practices assessment needs to normalize services as required by the World Health Organization.



Nigeria health Prof. Sabitu Olagoke

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