In 1946, World Health Organization (WHO) defined health as ‘a state of complete physical, mental and social wellbeing and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity’. In Nigeria today, it is an indisputable fact that there are numerous factors that toy with the health of Nigerians and they predominantly affect the women, youths, and children adversely.
One of such sacrilegious factors is the repulsive rising cases of sexual harassment meted out to not just the women and youthful ladies but pathetically also to the innocent girl children. Another instance is the ruthless incessant detonation of bombs in every nook and cranny of the north penetrated by the callous sect ‘Boko Haram’ and this has grossly jeopardized the destinies of our promising youths, shattered the future and hopes of our potential children and the women mourn over the whole catastrophic event without end. To further justify the negative implications of these random bomb explosions, undeniable nerve-racking and heart-aching investigations and evidences show that there has never been a bomb blast that has not endangered the totality of health of these categories of Nigerians because it has always left them with increased toils and hardship and they wander the streets in untold excruciating pains and travails, abject pauperization, homelessly helpless and conspicuously looking bleak.
In addition, there are some repugnant and appalling superstitious beliefs and traditional norms that put the health of these Nigerians at stake or worse still deteriorate and complicate their health issues. For example, female genital mutilation, widowhood rites like not bathing for many days or months before internment, child/early marriage to mention just a few. It is absolutely shocking that some of these hazardous practices are still in vogue for absurd reasons in this civilized age in some parts of Nigeria. Other related factors include communal conflict, flooding which mercilessly dealt with residents of riverine areas of Nigeria and oil explosion especially in the Niger Delta region, etc. Without a doubt, these undesirable conditions do not go down well with the general health of these Nigerians and they are in obvious conflict with the definition of health by World Health Organization because they cause psychological, social and physical trauma and to cap it all, they make people
susceptible to the risk of infections or possibly death.
These frightening conditions call for immediate and reliable solutions and in order to ensure that flamboyant transformations and improvements are solidly initiated in the Nigerian health system, most especially for the benefit of women, youth and children, the following factors should be generously executed:
1. Scrapping out every parlous superstition and abolition of precarious traditional norms that are detrimental to their health.
2. Since ignorance is a disease and knowledge is power, it is quintessentially imperative that health education or thorough public enlightenment campaign is organized to assist them in embracing good health.
3. Establishment of health insurance scheme to profoundly enable them to access health care with ease. Here, they neither pay a dime nor a token fee before receiving medical attention and this helps to restore health with immediate effect.
4. Provision of adequate and effective infrastructural and medical facilities will indubitably answer the prayer for health system improvement because health care will be delivered without further ado and will ensure quick recuperation.
5. Sacking the unqualified health personnel and replacing them with new and qualified ones. This tremendously helps to eliminate those who assassinate the image of health profession and ensures that only capable hands are in charge.
6. Copious fund should be provided for these health personnel for research, retraining and continuous education to update and equip them with essential skills and knowledge in rendering quality health care.
7. Remunerating health personnel handsomely to militate against brain drain syndrome and to stir their spirits in being wholeheartedly dedicated to the job and delivering suitable health services.
8. The Federal Government through the Ministry of Health should constructively dialogue with Boko Haram for the sack of Nigerians’ health and donate sufficient funds through the Ministry of Finance to victims of any misfortune caused by government’s inability to discharge their obligations properly.
9. For more efficient improvement in the health system, broad spectrum of opportunities should be given to exogenous mavens on health and not only be restricted within the boundary of indigenous experts trained within or in the
Good health is a cherishable treasure and a unique endowment that deserves to be jealously guarded against plagues and meticulously pampered like a golden egg because of its delicate nature and its proximity and accessibility to all should be ensured. Without objection, the implementation of these aforementioned points will guarantee good health and mark the beginning of a long-lasting, productive, superlative and resounding improvement in Nigerian health system. It will also ensure that a bracing and unsparing health delivery is lavished on the women, youth and children. So, the earlier these points are
suitably transformed into reality and are maintained, the much better the improvement in the health system because its superb and unstinting benefits must remain indelible.