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Recession has worsened access of Nigerians to healthcare

By Gabriel Olawale

The President of National  Association of Resident Doctor, Lagos University Teaching Hospital, LUTH Chapter, Dr. Afolabi Akinkunmi, has expressed worriy over the effects of the current economic situation in the country on the health of Nigerians, particularly mothers and their children.

He said taking decision to seek healthcare has become a big problem in a situation where the husband has a load of debt to settle and the pregnant wife is aware of their unsettled house rent. Even when  complications arise, to demand money for healthcare becomes an issue.”

Speaking at the 10th Quarterly CS-Media Forum organised by DEVCOMS Network, Akinkunmi said the challenge of getting to the  healthcare facilities has been complicated with rise in the exchange rate and increase in petroleum price.

“Secondary delay has to do with leaving the house and getting to the healthcare facilities. The transport system and means of transportation. Imagine a situation where the woman falls into labour at night and the husband has no vehicle. Another issue is the traffic situation.

“Third delay has to do with getting to the hospital and went through all the procedure, in which a lot of factors may come in. This may include challenges of personnel, equipment, facilities among other things.”

Akinwumi said the cost of accessing healthcare has relatively gone up with the majority of Nigerians subscribed to out of pocket payment system.

“To get blood and blood products is a big challenge, cost of screening, sometimes there are issues of blood group. Another thing is cost of consumables and medications.

“We are advocating for the implementation of the National Health Act while funding for health should be increased to 15 percent recommended by WHO.

“Due to urbanization in some part of the country, we are advocating for the establishment of more maternal and child centres, and more Primary Healthcare Centres should be supported to run on 24 hours basis.”



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