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Touched a raw nerve

By Denrele Animasaun

Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.

Martin Luther King Jr.- A Testament of Hope

In my column last week- Dino’s infantile display, January 13th  seems to have got some people hot under the collar.  The facts are there for all to see. In as much as I respect the right of everyone to have an opinion, at the same time it is prudent that we stop throwing the proverbial baby out with the bath water, when we don’t agree. It is important to distinguish between what is wrong and what is right. We have a habit of repudiating everything, hold an inflexible view that ; my enemy’s friend is my enemy regardless.

My father always used to say, “Don’t raise your voice. Improve your argument.” Good sense does not always lie with the loudest shouters, nor can we say that a large, unruly crowd is always the best arbiter of what is right.

Desmond Tutu

This will not serve us well. See below some of the comments I received:

Denrele, learn from your father whose columns were published without sentiments. I read him. Since you took over, it’s been interesting how you call out politicians in the opposition and at the same time, ignore obvious atrocities by those in Tinubu’s courtyard and in the APC. I want to read a well-thought of column that deals with issues and persons of interest and at the same time, balance out the approach. On this evidence, you are part of the establishment in power. And your column doesn’t sell Vanguard. I don’t look forward to reading you next Sunday.

Group demands release of basic health care funds

Another:

Good comment Denrele. It surprises me that some people are still supporting Dino. I believe that a right thinking person should know that Dino is a total disgrace to Nigeria, Kogi State and his Senatorial District.

To the above response:

But if you do please don’t comment!

Another:

Saraki has been saying the same or similar things why didn’t they go and bundle him from his home?

Another:

When it was all about winning by all means, Dino was their right man.

I have read the whole story and I think it’s a hate narration of the story and it is one-sided.

Another:

Please, who is this writer? Either you have been dumped by Dino in the past, or Oluremi settled you.

Kano State’s Health reform praised by international experts

-Abdul Rahman Animasaun

Rich Nigerians who can afford to travel often go overseas for their healthcare needs. They are top of the medical tourists and go to countries such as the United States of America, Europe, Dubai and Asian countries, particularly India, Thailand, Turkey for their medical care needs. These countries make a mint to the tune of  of US$1 billion every year.  Yes, a billion dollars annually! Sadly, this amount could have been invested and it will definitely  transform the nation’s health service if only, health care is prioritised and developed across the nation.  Nigerians are sick of being sick.

It is scandalous that Nigerians go abroad for treatments like cardiac surgeries, neurosurgeries, cosmetic surgeries, orthopaedic surgeries, and renal transplant surgeries.  Of course, it does not help that all our politicians go abroad for their health care needs while ordinary Nigerians are at the mercy of substandard and extortionate health care. The failure of subsequent governments to prioritise the nation’s health is diabolical and disgraceful. Nigeria’s total health expenditure amounts to 4.6% of the GDP.

Nigeria is currently rated by the World Health Organisation (WHO) as the 187th out of 190 countries in the health index. This is nothing to be proud of .

The results of the World Health Organisation’s analysis of the world’s health systems among 191 member states are in, and Nigeria ranked 187 only ahead of Democratic Republic of the Congo, Central African Republic and Myanmar. Using performance indicators including overall level of health, distribution of health in populations, responsiveness and distribution of finance, France ranked 1, followed by Italy, San Marino, Andorra and Malta, respectively. Clearly, there is much to be done in Nigeria. Of course we must not forget that other than resources, doctors and nurses are leaving in droves and further depleting the negligible numbers to begin with.

According to WHO over 100, 000 Nigerians are diagnosed with cancer annually, and about 80, 000 die from the disease, averaging 240 daily or 10 Nigerians hourly, dying from cancer. This is not acceptable.

Medical experts say that the Nigerian cancer ratio of 4 in 5 is one of the worst in the world.

We should remember that without health,we have nothing. The nation’s health  should take top most priority. Far too many people are dying needlessly and far too young.

People should hold our politicians to task this coming election, there is a need to double down on reducing corruption, it scuppers good governance and stalls progress, ultimatley, it puts health care services and provision lower in the priority. Crucially,health care programme has to be prioritised and heavily invested. It has been ignored for far too long. This is costing Nigerians highly. It has always been  inaccessible to many but the few. It is time to change this narrative for sake of the health of the nation.

Nigeria can ill afford to be the sick capital of Africa. It needs transformative social policies and strategies  to improve the health of the nation. Cuba did similar drive when US imposed a commercial, economical and financial embargo for decades.

Having said the above, there have been some improvement but not nearly enough to cater adequately for a population of 190 million.

If health is truly wealth then Governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje has certainly made “millionaires” of the citizenry of Kano State.

What with his focus on the reformation of the healthcare system throughout the 44 local government areas that make up Kano State, this will transform the health of the people of the state and the surrounding states. Presently, the refurbishment, the equipping of hospitals and healthcare centres, which were mostly moribund has stood him out as determined to put the interest and the health of his people as his top agenda.   This kind of reinvigorated interest in the wellbeing of the people by the Governor couldn’t have come at a better time.

Kano State Government has awarded a N2.4 billion contract for construction of a state-of-the-art cancer centre at the Muhammadu Buhari Specialist hospital in the state capital. The centre is the first of its kind in any public hospital in Nigeria, according to the Director General, Media and Publicity, Government House, Kano, Ameen K. Yassar.

The project follows a visit to the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, Melbourne, Australia, one of the world’s leading cancer research, education and treatment centres, by Gov. Abdullahi Umar Ganduje recently.

Speaking when he inspected the proposed project site, Gov. Ganduje explained that “the project implementation would be supervised by consultants from Varian Medicals (a renown radiation oncology treatments and software maker) to ensure that it is of international standard”.

“It is envisioned that our proposed cancer centre would join the league of the MacCallum Centre, as one of the few cancer treatment facilities in the world which has a fully integrated clinical and lab program flanking a hospital”.

In his remarks, the Chief Executive officer of Bico Nigeria Ltd., the company handling the project, Engr. Abubakar Kabir stated that the work would be carried out in collaboration with a multinational firm, Varian Medicals, explaining that the project would be completed within 36 weeks from the date of foundation laying.

“Already our three foreign consultants are coming next week so from the day we mobilize to site, it will take us not more than 36 weeks to complete the work, This is a big project that will create at least 150 jobs for medical and allied professionals” according to  Mr Abubakar.

 

*Denrele is off next week

 


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Comments expressed here do not reflect the opinions of vanguard newspapers or any employee thereof.