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This week’s Healthful Words on CrossRiverWatch is a sequel of a previous quote drawn from World Health Report 1995 by the World Health Organization.

“I was hungry and you formed a committee to investigate my hunger. I was homeless and you filed a report on my plight. I was sick and you held a seminar on the situation of the underprivileged. You investigated all aspects of my plight and yet I am still hungry, homeless and sick.”—Author unknown.

Meditate on these soul-stirring expression; let it minister to the intimate and mysterious recess of your being. Then, list out 5 health implications and or complications of poverty especially as it affects Nigeria and Nigerians and let us share your thoughts. Mail: (mail title: #hw7); BBM (PIN: C004D9BF7); whatsapp (@ 0807177770. Post your comment beginning with the hashtag #hw7. For whatsapp users, first send an “add me” request to CRW whatsapp group (@ 0807177770)—then post your comment beginning with the hashtag #hw7.

Let’s TALK!


Health workers Strikes—the Fourth Estate in a “Diseased” Nigerian Health System.

Still on the matter of strike campaigns embarked on by workers in the healthcare sector in the recent past, acts capable of further polluting an already pungent telling of Nigeria’s healthcare narrative. The narrative of an ailing health system upon which millions of Nigerians rest their meager hopes of attaining good health.

Yes, good health and long, traditionally among the most prized goals of mankind. The quest for which, over time and space, has fueled significant efforts to postpone death, whether through sacred dance and song, the imbibing of magic potions, or the application of the most modern medical techniques. It is unequivocally a universal desire and easily a primordial want of “we—the Nigerian people”. That which we ultimately and unanimously demand from the citadel of governance and by extension those entrusted with the sacred privilege of delivering on it—good health.

However, standing on the knowledge that healthcare is the ORGANIZATION of people, institutions, and resources required to deliver healthcare services to meet the health needs of target populations. Then “the people”—in this instance healthcare workers, by their recent actions could rightly be construed as conniving with the deprived “institutions” and depraved “resources” that define the healthcare sector of this nation-state to deny citizens of their right to LIFE. By their actions in the recent past, healthcare workers sit as the fourth estate of socio-political pestilences plaguing an already ailing health system. A health system that can barely support a very resilient Nigerian citizenry, determined to survive against every odd—and doing just so.

Yes! Conflicts—industrial, political, social or otherwise, will always arise between members of a a given society or micro-society and that which govern them. But where such conflict directly challenge the survival of that same society, for the sake of the sanctity of life, more humane measures need to be employed to resolve such conflicts without pulling the plug on our common humanity. This is the central reason why HEALTH-Watch has spent the past 3 weeks subjecting the issue of recurrent, confrontational strikes in the healthcare sector to deep scrutiny. Because understanding or confronting the consequence of an action often inspires true and lasting solutions. It is the reason why those who have experienced war first hand abhor conflicts. This article is thus, among others, a call to sober reflections and re-examination.

It is common knowledge that the forces attacking the Nigerian health system are as monstrous as there are many. Therefore, an attack of our health system from within—by the health workers who should be sustaining it in this hour of dire destiny—will be tantamount to pulling our ailing health system from its life support.

Ours is a country where tradition and illiteracy have long combined to conspire against the health and well-being of our nation. Where for want of leadership and structure (the foremost pillar of a virile “health system”) ungoverned (clinically, corporately, or otherwise), non institutionalized healthcare service providers thrive—church healers, faith healers, traditional healers, quacks (the most mortal of the subverters of our health system). And citizens, persuaded by POVERTY, ignorance, tradition, superstitions and the scourge of disease itself are left with no choice but to ricochet between these different shades of problems for their healthcare solutions.

Ours is a nation where fake, substandard and unlicensed drugs congregate with right medication served by wrong (quack) prescriptions to maim and kill. A nation still reeling under the grip of herbal therapies handed down from ancestral beginning with unmeasured dosages and addressing every sort of illness and infirmities. A nation where countless millions of citizens wake in the dead of night to consume potions of salt, water and psalms as ritualistic immunization and/or therapy from Ebola. A nation whose citizens are largely led by faith to their uncertain fate.

Our is a country where citizens have to live with out-of-pocket payment for healthcare service. Where even the questionably available healthcare safety net (National Health Insurance Scheme) is a fairy that cannot be told to grass root citizens in the greatest need of same. A country where citizens are sicker from poverty and will die faster from it than from the diseases they seek remedy from.

Sure! Nigeria’s health system is in great need of repair. The health team must thus come together, ORGANIZED, under a defined and definite leadership to rebuild. There must stay committed to sustaining the health and well-being of Nigerians rather than leave citizen in the cross roads of a conflict not their own.

What is your take on the spate of strikes embarked by healthcare workers? Is it right? Is it moral? What impact did it have on you, a loved one or a friend? Did you have to suffer certain untold hardship or loss that you think would have been averted if not for the strike? Please talk to HEALTH-Watch on CrossRiverWatch. Your comment might just make headline.

Reach us via—Mail: (mail title: #hw7); BBM (PIN: C004D9BF7); whatsapp (@ 0807177770. Post your comment beginning with the hashtag #hw7. For whatsapp users, first send an “add me” request to CRW whatsapp group (@ 0807177770)—then post your comment beginning with the hashtag #hw7.

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