…As physician launches book on health management & policy
By Gabriel Olawale
NIGERIA’s poor health indices has been blamed on lack of appropriate planning, execution and monitoring mechanism.
In the view of Adjunct Professor at Harvard University, United States of America, Professor Adetokunbo Lucas, it is time for Nigerians to begin to demand accountability from those in authority when they fail to deliver.
Lucas, 87, who spoke at the launch of a book entitled Essentials of Health Management Planning and Policy authored by Professor Princess Campbell, said the idea of sectionalism in the country as against competence worsens the situation.
According to Lucas, a Fellow of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists and one of the first foreign associates of the Institute of Medicine, the Federal government needs to plan the health system in such a way that those who need it get it.
“When you look at some of the programmes executed in the health sector, they are lopsided. A lot of money was put into things that are not of importance and very important things are not taken care of.
“Also, the question is how much money government is putting into the system . For instance, much of the money used to control HIV/AIDS comes from outside, while our own government is not putting money into it.”
Lucas recalled a time in the country that Primary Healthcare Centres meant to be built in areas without access to healthcare service, were built in places that already had hospitals for political reasons.
“Now those PHCs are overgrown with weeds. That is misplacing of priority and it cannot help us as a country. It is time for Nigerians to start asking question, when people in authority promise something and within six months they didn’t see traces of execution.
“Another thing is monitoring, there was a time in this country when Teaching Hospitals were given a lot of money to buy new equipment. What is the impact of that? We don’t know. There was no follow up on benefits of such intervention.
Corroborating his view, Emeritus Professor and Distinguished Professor at the University of Lagos, Prof. Osato Giwa-Osagie blamed the political class for the woes of the health sector saying there was no justification for Nigeria to be ranking low in global communities.
“Our major challenge is lack of good leadership. Our leaders are the one that decide what is allocated for Nigeria healthcare and what people will get in actual value when the money was finally released.
Speaking on why she wrote the book, Prof. Princess Campbell said it answers how Nigeria can improve its healthcare system through proper management, planning and policy.