By; BAYO AKAMO, Ibadan
The Dean Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Ibadan Professor Ayodele Samuel Jegede on Thursday asked the Federal government to establish a National Disease Observatory System (NDOS) to document data on disease distribution across the various regions in Nigeria.
The Professor of Medical Sociology made the call while delivering the 419th Inaugural Lecture of the University of Ibadan at the Trenchard Hall of the University titled “The forest through the Trees: Themes in Social Production of Health”.
Professor Jegede emphasized that this became necessary in view of the need to have detailed information and record on the types of diseases in the country, saying, “if Nigeria has data on diseases across the country by type, location and local practices it will assist in clinical practice and preparedness for epidemics and treating diseases of emergencies such as hemorrhagic Ebola Virus Dishealthcare, .”
“Government should establish a National Disease Observatory System to document diseases across the country by type, location and local practices, among others, surrounding them in the face of global emerging and re-emerging diseases. This will help clinical practice and preparedness for epidemics and treating diseases of emergencies like haemorrhagic Ebola Virus Disease (EVD). ” he said.
According to him, ‘it will also be useful for training of health workers so as to equip them properly for the task ahead in community-based service delivery. This should be a national priority.”
Pointing out that this will go a long way in assisting in training health workers so as to equip them properly for the task of community based service delivery, he lamented
that Nigeria hospitals which were described as ‘mere consulting clinics’ has nosedived further leaving Nigerians with no clinics to consult due to lack of political will and poor funding of health care system.
Professor Jegede maintained that ‘Universal health coverage is vital to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the medical sociologist maintained that Nigerians now rely and patronise alternative healthcare delivery system while attributing the causes of their illness to the spiritual”
Speaking further, he tasked the federal government to improve primary healthcare service delivery in Nigeria, stressing P
that the bane of developing nations’ health systems is primary healthcare,saying, that ‘universal health coverage is vital to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
“Nigerian hospitals were once described as “mere consulting clinics”. However, with the lack of political will and poor funding, the state of the Nigerian health system has left the people with no clinic to consult. Nigeria has been robbed of the gains of the Primary Health Care Programme of the mid-‘90s as it has nose-dived. As a result, the same problems that predated the PHC era are still with us and dominating the health agenda. Thus, alternative healthcare delivery system is waxing stronger with high patronage. Due to loss of economic power and low purchasing power, people now tend to attribute their illnesses to spiritual cause and seek alternative health care service”
He however identified corrupt practices as a major reason for the failure of primary health care system in Nigeria and that there is the urgent need for the current anti-corruption crusade in the country to be extended to health sector to save Nigerians.
“Corruption should be wiped out of our society. Corrupt practices unarguably remain one of the major reasons adduced for the failure of the primary healthcare system in Nigeria. This is becoming burdensome for the masses. The current government’s anti-corruption crusade should be sustained and implemented in an atmosphere of transparency and fairness.”