By Sola Ogundipe
TOWARDS proffering a way forward for the Nigerian healthcare sector, the Association of Public Health Physicians of Nigeria (APHPN) is aggregating the outcomes of the various stocktaking processes of the healthcare industry since Nigeriaâ€™s Independence 50 years ago.
This is the ultimate goal of public health physicians in the country as the their parent bodyâ€™s 26th annual scientific conference and general meeting opens in Lagos today at the National Sickle Cell Center, Idi-Araba.
Lagos State Chairman of the Association, Dr. Bayo Onajole said the theme of the meeting entitled â€œ50 Years of Independence: State of the Nigerian Health Systemâ€ was specifically chosen because such focus had been identified as an effective way of assuring the overall improvement of the fortunes of the nationâ€™s health industry.
Speaking at a pre-conference press conference, Onajole said there were so many things wrong with the healthcare system the way it is currently that it had become expedient to stop and take stock in order to move forward.
â€œFifty years is a critical period to really take stock. We need to know where we are and we can only do this by taking stock. We are going to be discussing so many important issues, such as health system manpower development, health services management and emergency preparedness and response.
These are the sub themes and are all critical. If we are producing manpower and they are leaving the country, there is no way there can be improvement, because manpower development is one of the products that will affect the outputs in the system.â€
Also speaking, Chief Medical Director, Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH), Idi- Araba, Lagos, Prof. Akin Oshibogun noted: â€œWe need to really know how bad the system is; there is a need to properly reappraise what is on the ground, hence the choice of the theme.
Weâ€™ll be looking at what has been done, what we are doing and what can still be done to improve the state of the health management system.â€ Over 40 scientific papers are expected to be presented at the event.