Nigeria: Challenges Facing Nigerian Health System
6 May 2010
Lagos — Dr. Femi Akinwumi, of the University College Hospital, Ibadan, Looks At the Intimidating Challenges Facing the Health Care Sector in Nigeria And Offers Solutions... [pic][pic]The Nigerian health sector was thrown into chaos when the resident doctors under the aegis of National Association of Resident Doctors of Nigeria (NARD) in the Federal Teaching Hospitals and Federal Medical Centres (FMCs) embarked on a nationwide strike. The sector, hitherto in a state of prostration, slumped into coma with very severe untold consequences on the health of ordinary citizen's especially sick infants and children, pregnant women and the bed ridden in the society. The resident doctors, regarded as the livewire of hospital services providers in secondary and tertiary health levels, embarked on industrial action to press home their demands for a special budgetary allocation for residency training programme, on issues of relativity of salary in health sector and for immediate implementation of the Consolidated Medical Salary Structure (COMSS), which according to their leaders, ought to have been implemented since January 1st this year. The frequent industrial disputes between the various healthcare workers' unions and the government often lead to a paralysis of our ailing healthcare system. The current state of our health system is quite worrisome. Our health indicators and statistics are abysmal. We are yet to make any significant improvement in the area of maternal and child health; life expectancy at birth of our men and women falls below 50 years; doctor to population ratio is 3 per 10,000 compared to United States which stands at 26 per 10,000. Meeting the targets of MDGs in 2015 is still a mirage. The scourge of malaria, tuberculosis and HIV/AIDS is not abating. Access to safe, clean water in our cities and villages is to say the least, poor. Top on this, man-made carnage from road traffic...