Our Lives in Our Hands

Originally published on April 21 2008 @ Nigeria Village Square

Our Lives in Our Hands

If Umaru Yar’Adua keeps flying to Germany every other day for medical checkups and randomized treatments, there is definitely no hope yet for the Nigerian masses plagued by poverty and very serious health infirmities. If the one in whom we entrust our health care seeks succour beyond the borders of Nigeria (and in fact Africa) then the rest of us must know that our lives are in our hands.
Shame which is a virtue in Nigerian politics is the only word that I found to describe this action of the number one citizen in Nigeria. It is a clear revelation of the gross incompetence of Umaru not just as an individual but as an administrator or ex-governor. For example, if I was the former governor of Katsina State for 8 years, I would have used my influence and position to build a specialized hospital to take care of my peculiar health needs. By so doing, I would have provided a unique opportunity for other people who have the same or similar problems within my state and elsewhere in Nigeria.

Really, how much can it cost to facilitate the building of such a specialized hospital at the federal level supposing the cost of building it surpasses the state health allocations for 8 years? If that was the only achievement in Katsina State’s Department of Health between 1999 and 2003, would it have been a selfish gain? Does it require the building of a new hospital to take care of Umaru’s special needs? Was any attempt made to incorporate what he needs into an existing health institution anywhere in Nigeria?

We must constantly remind ourselves of some unforgivable/ severe shortcomings of the people who lead us in Nigeria. Umaru is definitely bringing shame to Nigeria with this particular attitude of his. For instance, how does this flying out for health reason help Nigeria in terms of enticing foreign investors to Nigeria? In 21st century Global Village scenario, Nigeria cannot provide electricity to run businesses and Umaru is making it clear that the health of Nigerians and foreigners in Nigeria cannot be catered for in Nigeria.

My humble advice is that Umaru should with immediate effect lay a foundation in Abuja for the construction of the carbon copy of that hospital that he is always running or flying to in Germany. He should also make sure that the hospital is completed in a world record timing without neglecting regulations, standards and safety. In addition, he should ensure that replicas are constructed in at least 6 other places spread over Nigeria.

When that is done, Umaru should personally work closely with the Federal Ministry of Health to ensure that the hospitals are equipped not only with the state of art facilities but also with the best hands in Nigeria. If there is a need to recall Nigerian doctors or experts from the Middle East, Australia or the US then let it be done. We cannot possibly succumb to any form of inferiority complex that Nigerian doctors are not better than those in Germany. It is part of government’s responsibilities to provide the infrastructure and the environment that will facilitate optimum output and efficiency.

If the kind of hospital that exist in Germany is found in Nigeria and if our best doctors are there, Umaru would have no need to fly 6 hours in air just to see a doctor or the edifice itself. Afterall, Nigerian doctors are among the best in the world and they are scattered all over planet earth. The other day I was treated by a Nigerian doctor at the Famous Karolinska Hospital here in Stockholm. He told me he is from the old Bendel State and that he had been living and working outside Nigeria since the mid 70s!

These pieces of advice can serve as the stepping stones for the revamping of Nigeria’s ailing health industry. Without setting up any tea drinking or money-dividing committee, there are possibilities to establish, develop and maintain viable health policies that will work for all and sundry in Nigeria.

It is not too much to ask that the health industry must work. A healthy nation is a wealthy nation. Nigerians must stop the shameful seeking of basic health care from neighbouring countries and the confidence that we have in our health institutions and health providers can only be restored if the leadership truly leads by desirable examples.

RESPONSES:

pH_bomboy

# 2 | 21.04.2008 15:33

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why are we not protesting YarAdua’s foreign hospital trips as much as we are protesting British Airways treatment of Nigerians? I’ll be the first one to sign whatever petition is drafted.

WaleAkin

# 3 | 21.04.2008 19:43

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Adeola,

Just thinking aloud!!!

How much would it cost NIGERIA to build a state of the art all round Hospital somewhere in Abuja?

Do we have a bottleneck somewhere militating against this noble venture?

Now, where is this money pls?

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=Umar Musa Yar’Adua>For the Health Sector, we propose an allocation of N138.17 billion for 2008, a 12.57% increase over the 2007 allocation of N120.8 billion. The capital
component of this amount is N49.37 billion, out of which funds have been
provided for, among others, the following projects:
· Refurbishing and equipping all Federal Tertiary Health Institutions
· National AIDS/STI Control Programme, including the procurement
and distribution of ARVs and test kits
· Rollback Malaria Programme, including the procurement of new
drugs for malaria case management and insecticide treated nets
· National Programme on Immunisation for routine immunisation
· Capacity building and training for 5,000 health workers on
integrated management of childhood illnesses.
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DeepThought

# 4 | 21.04.2008 20:45

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If it were possible to justify the practice of corruption by the rank and file of Nigerians, then I would say this continuosly going abroad for medical treatment by Nigerian public officials/leadership make it virtually mandatory that the ordinay Nigerian be corrupt.

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why are we not protesting YarAdua’s foreign hospital trips as much as we are protesting British Airways treatment of Nigerians? .

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Good idea. We should

K_Station

# 5 | 21.04.2008 21:52

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=Robot;4295008061>Umaru is definitely bringing shame to Nigeria with this particular attitude of his.

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AA Baba,
God bless you for bringing attention to this recurring shameful act of our leaders, past and present, may you walk and never stumble! Every time I hear about any of these ridiculous foreign medical trips (per IBB’s toe, Atiku’s treadmill induced injury, and now UMYA’s eczema), I can only imagine their white doctors laughing at and scorning our country behind the backs of their Naija executive patients!

How can we expect anyone to take us serious or respect us in the world when our number one citizen cannot entrust his diarrhea to a Nigerian doctor? Our leaders are shameless mugus! Charity begin at home; not for nigerian leaders.

anonimi

# 6 | 22.04.2008 02:28

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=K_Station;4295008243>AA Baba,

Our leaders are shameless mugus! Charity begin at home; not for nigerian leaders.

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Na we d followers mungun pass as we dey hero worship dem & honour dem as part of the reward system for their (mis)behaviour:exclaim:
I am sure many are lining up to seek connections to such leaders so they can get juicy appointments, in public & private sector, so they can get their share of the looting.
meanwhile the vicious cycle of misery, poverty, mass unemployment, crime, worsening transportation, health, education and other infrastructures continues as we are too selfish to see beyond our nose.
why can’t we boycott the political, social and economic functions of these Looters-in-Power (LIPs)
the best way to be selfish is by being selfless ask d oyinbo people wey dey do welfare for dem government. if your neighbour is stealing & receiving stolen goods and you just dey say he no concern you, very soon they will rob you or someone very close to you, what will you say then:icon_ques

Olamide

# 7 | 22.04.2008 02:42

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=K_Station;4295008243>AA Baba,
God bless you for bringing attention to this recurring shameful act of our leaders, past and present, may you walk and never stumble! Every time I hear about any of these ridiculous foreign medical trips (per IBB’s toe, Atiku’s treadmill induced injury, and now UMYA’s eczema), I can only imagine their white doctors laughing at and scorning our country behind the backs of their Naija executive patients!

How can we expect anyone to take us serious or respect us in the world when our number one citizen cannot entrust his diarrhea to a Nigerian doctor? Our leaders are shameless mugus! Charity begin at home; not for nigerian leaders.

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I also thank you AA for bringing this issue out but you must be clairvoyant o. I was just thinking of writing something more caustic on the issue when I read your article. I am happy that all right-thinking Nigerians are ashamed that our President is running to Germany to treat eczema or is it ashtma in a foreign hospital. When Nigerian hospitals are referred to as glorified mortuaries, some people get upset but how many of our so-called leaders and their families go to these hospitals? None.

The people surrounding Umaru Yar’adua are his greatest undoing. If they cannot advise him that he is making us a laughing stock by flying to Germany, then we are doomed but the public officials are happy because they get estacode anytime Yar’adua flies out for medical treatment. We should launch another petition here to stop our leaders or is it ‘Dealers’ from travelling abroad for medical treatment as long as they are in public office. Over to you, guys.

K_Station

# 8 | 22.04.2008 11:41

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=Olamide;4295008280>We should launch another petition here to stop our leaders or is it ‘Dealers’ from travelling abroad for medical treatment as long as they are in public office. Over to you, guys.

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Dear Olams,
I also thought about your suggestion for a petition but I’m not sure it can be sustained legally. I’m not a lawyer (and I hope Village lawyers can shed more light on this) but I think every human being has a basic right to recieve medical treatment from wherever and from whoever.

This issue is more of morality and having a sense of decency, which most of our leaders seems to lack! One suggestion is for a broad citizen group to make a well publicized representation to both the legislature and the presidency on this matter; it will also be a good idea to seek the support of the Nigeria Medical Association and to carry them along.

draftman

# 9 | 23.04.2008 14:18

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Make una leave Yardua alone, he should be able to get a medical treatment anywhere he chose. What would you do if you fall sick in Nigeria, and can afford to travel out? The fact is that we do not have a fully competent doctors in Nigeria, even if we do we certainly do not have adequate facilities or tools. Until Nigerian can sort these issues, please don’t knock a man for taking care of himself, unless you’re just jealous. My cousin who is a medical doctor in both Nigerian and now in US, does not trust nigerian medical facilities. I was in Nigeria recently and my family member was sick, I was told by a nigerian doctors to seek treatment abroad asap.

Who among us want to take chance with our health.

karajakataja

# 10 | 25.04.2008 04:20

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the complete truth is yet to be told about the state of his health, what operation/treatment he actuually underwent prior to election in april last year. Yar Adua is our property and we need to know his health status. By the way when ar we gonna have an hospital that can give paracetamol to our public officers running abroad each time they have headache?
I don tire o

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