By Rev Fr. John Damian Adizie
Nothing in this world is as valuable as good health. A healthy world is indeed a wealthy world. No wonder, Good Health and Wellbe-ing is among the 17 Sus-tainable Development Goals. Incidentally, April 7 happens to be World Health Day.
The theme of this year’s WHD is “Univer-sal Health Coverage: Everyone, Everywhere.” This theme must have been inspired by the ideo-logy of people like Plato who declares, that “The part can never be well un-less the whole is well.”
Universal Health Coverage is therefore a means of ensuring that everyone, everywhere can have access to quality health services without any finan-cial or political hindrance.
Jesus Christ did not just declare Healing for all or what we may call universal health coverage, he actua-lly demonstrated it in his healing ministry. His heal-ing ministry was not just limited to specific people. Everyone, the rich and the poor, benefitted from his healing ministry. The gos-pel of Matthew 12:15 de-clares, “Great multitudes followed Him, and He heal-ed them all.” All the sick, without exception, receiv-ed their healing!
Reflecting on this year’s Wo-rld Health Day I kept wonder-ing if Nigeria is among the UN countries that promotes uni-versal Health coverage. If yes, why then do we have to fly our politic-ians and even their children to London and other parts of the world for medical treatment? whereas poor citizens are dying due to poor medical facilities. Will Nigeria ever have a re-liable medical facilities that can take care of its citizens irrespective of their status or political affiliation?
Politicians are not the only ones that have failed in medical care. Most Religi-ous Leaders are taking he-alth care ministry for gran-ted. Whereas few healing ministers are using it as an avenue to make money. Missionary hospitals are so expensive! People pay through their noise to ac-quire olive oil and ‘anoint-ed water at healing cent-ers.
Whereas our Lord Je-sus Christ told his disci-ples, “Cure the sick, raise the dead, cleanse the lepers, cast out demons. You received without pay-ment; give without pay-ment” (Matthew 10:8). He-alth care ministry is among the signs of a true disciple (Mark 16:17-18). If the gov-ernment fails in providing health care for the people the Church should not fail!
The Holy Father declares “Health care ministry will always be a necessary and fundamental task, to be carried out with renewed enthusiasm by all, from parish communities to the largest healthcare institut-ions…Doctors and nurses, priests, consecrated men and women, volunteers, families and all those who care for the sick, take part in this ecclesial mission.” (Pope Francis). Indeed, all hands must be on deck! Provision of adequate and affordable healthcare facilities for all is the only way forward. Happy World Health Day to you all!