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June 11, 2024

Pat Utomi, Nigerian medical experts in US, UK seek solution to healthcare challenges

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Utomi

Renowned political economist, Prof Pat Utomi, with some Nigerian medical professionals have launched a group to combat the challenges faced by the people in the healthcare system.

According to Utomi, the group called Healthcare Cohort of the New Tribe will “map and guide a rebirth of healthcare in Nigeria… to help citizens take back and shape a country of promise now left in ruins by politicians.”

Speaking at the inaugural virtual meeting of the group on Tuesday, June 11, 2024, the scholar affirmed that Nigerian people have been successful globally to lead success for others around the world.

In the press statement titled ‘We Can Save Ourselves And Shape The Future For Our Children’, Utomi said the initiative was borrowed from the ancient Greeks called Tribesmen who saved the people from societal maladies.

The press statement was shared with Vanguard by Ngozi Odumuko, former Executive Secretary of Nzuko Umunna global Igbo think-tank on Tuesday.

In his remarks about the objective of the group, Utomi, the presidential candidate of Social Democratic Mega Party in 2011 general election, said, “Our goal is to erect a moral tribe of citizens who speak and live personal integrity, hold high the dignity of the human person, celebrate the work ethic and entrepreneurial creativity, and hold on to merit with inclusion, as the essence of the social order in which we recognize that I am because we are.

“This new tribe in seeking to bring talk to action has created two sets of cohorts in a cluster of 14 and seven for sectors of intervention, and mode of organization, respectively, to operationalize the vision.”

The professor said, “Dear friends and Compatriots. I feel a great sense of this moment as a landmark and watershed historical one, even as simple a virtual meeting as it is that has brought you Nigerian healthcare professionals spread from as faraway as Sydney in Australia;

“Los Angeles, California, Atlanta Georgia, Saudi Arabia, Kano, Abuja, Owerri, Florida and Lagos, Newcastle in the UK and South Africa as leaders, to map and guide a rebirth of healthcare in Nigeria, as a cohort of our New Tribe configured to help citizens take back and shape a country of promise now left in ruins by politicians.

“I want to warmly welcome Dr Olatidoye in Atlanta, Dr Olujie in Australia, Dr Emeruwa in California, Zahtau Ibrahim in Kano and Dr Okocha in Saudi Arabia as well as Dr Bagudu in Abuja.

“In the weeks of hardwork to raise the membership of this work council of the healthcare cohort, it became quite clear that Nigerians have become a global tribe that can aggregate the good of the world in which they have thrived no matter the constraints in their path into a new age;

“for all its people reduced sadly a country of pity as the poverty capital of the world by lack of leadership, a collapse of culture and the embrace of emotion over reason, leaving society a victim of the absence of rational public conversation.

“It is not by accident that you the leadership council of the healthcare cohort are the first to be armed with your brief to go out there and confound doubters with a moral compass that will produce outcomes the world will discuss for a long time.


“The social sectors of health care and education have long been considered central to man’s escape from the slavery of misery.

“I feel so very proud of this day that it is a time when your collective talents become the platform for showcasing the triumph of the human spirit as initiatives flowing from your genius and compassion solve problems of both the affluent and the poorest of the poor as they work to up the quality of life within the challenges in our land.

“Many years ago I arrived at the Bisi Onabanjo University Medical School in Sagamu to speak at an event of students of the CVL club I had founded who were led by Tolu Ademujimi. The speaker, then provost from LUTH finished his remarks saying the Nigerian HealthCare System was a ‘man made disaster’.

“A key goal of this cohort is to undo that which man has done to health care in Nigeria.

“Who are we to so dare and why do we passionately seek a new order?

“Some years ago two Columbia University Economists, Arvind Subramanian and Xavier Sala-i-Martin, in an IMF working paper more or less suggested Nigeria was better off without a government because the welfare effect of oil income if just shared to all Nigerians was higher than the outcome of governing Nigeria in the manner it is governed.

“It, therefore, makes sense for citizens to try and take back their country by creating greater welfare-advancing possibilities in spite of government. How do we plan to go about this? Here we turn to the wisdom of Ancient Greece.

“For the Greeks, at the base of civilization are people who think of themselves alone. This category they called idiots. Moving up is the next category who care for others but only others with parochial linkages such as blood, language, and religion. These they called tribesmen. For tribesmen all not of the tribe are enemies to fight ferociously.

“Of a higher category of people in society are those who feel a shared humanity and solidarity with other people for their humanity no matter their geography. These they called citizens.

“Our goal is to erect a moral tribe of citizens who speak and live personal integrity, hold high the dignity of the human person, celebrate the work ethic and entrepreneurial creativity, and hold on to merit with inclusion, as the essence of the social order in which we recognize that I am because we are.

“This new tribe in seeking to bring talk to action has created two sets of cohorts in a cluster of 14 and seven for sectors of intervention, and mode of organization, respectively, to operationalize the vision.

“Just as we are giving to ourselves today the brief for the healthcare cohort, others for education, values, public accountability, election reforms, etc will follow.

“Our pre-work indicate your cohort strategy will in part deploy an app we are just finalizing to allow physicians around the world to donate two or three hours a week of their time to see patients remotely located. Massive health education and primary health prevention of disease initiatives and support of healthcare, malls and upend hospitals clusters will be in your mix.

“The structure of the cohort we propose has its Congress made up of all the volunteers, healthcare professionals, tech support and administrative types. They will be the backbone of debates and rational conversation on the two portals to be presented to us today, as well as the boots on ground.

“The input from them are feedstock for the leadership council which you constitute. Four co-chairs will steer the cohort. Two physicians in Atlanta and California who are men and two who are female in Abuja and Kano offer this council that includes a mental health specialist, a cardiologist;

“homecare entrepreneurs, a pharmacist, nursing leaders, and a physiotherapist. I want particularly to pay tribute to Dr Abiodun Olatidoye who we propose to chair the co-chaos, Dr Iheanacho Emeruwa, Dr Zainab Bagudu and RN Zahrau Ibrahim.

“I wish you all God’s grease to your elbows as you show that it can be done.”