Restoring confidence in our primary health care system
Nigeria was virtually on the verge of caving in to the vile effects of corruption when President Muhammadu Buhari emerged as the President.
Seeing the danger of allowing corruption one more step, the President made the now popular statement: “Nigeria must kill corruption, otherwise corruption will kill Nigeria.” The President did not just mouth the battle cry; he has continued to walk – the – talk, since inception to date.
Before the advent of the Buhari administration, the footprints of corruption were everywhere in the country, poignantly indicating that the nation’s growth was destined to be arrested.
The ill wind of corruption, freely blowing across the land was so pervasive that no segment of the society, institution or sector was immune, and hardly was any left with a semblance of sanity.
Admittedly, all corruption is evil but corruption in the health sector is the worst form of evil, as it claims many innocent lives within a short space of time. Only a government that does not have respect for the sanctity of human lives would allow corruption to thrive, especially in its health sector.
While Nigeria’s major obstacle to development was the hydra – headed cankerworm, the entire heath space could not be absolved, and so was business at the PHC sub sector transacted without due recourse to the highest standard of transparency. This was especially so, in the years preceding President Buhari’s rescue administration.
In those years of anomie, a big chunk of the nation’s budget at the national, state and local government levels went to the health sector only on paper. In reality, however, huge health funds were systematically drained into private pockets, with the attendant dire consequences on the citizenry.
In that era, Nigeria accepted, unashamedly, its status as one out of the four countries in the world with the worst cases of maternal mortality and child morbidity, and scandalously the only African country in that hall of infamy. The implication of this statistical report was that about 300,000 children died avoidable deaths every single day in Nigeria.
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