The Campaign for better healthcare practices in Nigeria – 1

The Campaign for better healthcare practices in Nigeria – 1

Fellow patriotic Nigerian,

Adigun (not real name) was admitted recently in LUTH. His parents are poor Nigerians, who do not have health insurance cover. When Adigun’s treatment initially started, the attending doctor sent him for medical laboratory tests in the LUTH Haematology Lab. Total costs of the tests was N3, 120: 00k . It was expensive, but they managed to pay. Then, a week later, he was sent for follow up tests and Adigun’s mom being the curious type, checked and saw that the tests were a repeat of the former , but from a different private laboratory (where they have interests)  and she asked why?

The true answer to her “why” is very shocking.

Do you know that “Adigun’s parents have to look for N7000:00k to pay for the same tests that could have cost N3, 120: 00K in the regular government lab; simply because some members of staff are at loggerheads.

You do not believe? I would not too, if I did not see this letter (see image below).

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Let me give a transcript of the red marked portion of the letter: ” At the Ordinary General Meeting of the MDCAN LUTH Chapter on the 2nd of August, 2017, the following resolutions were made: 

To stop sending samples to Haematology Laboratory.

– To disregard all laboratory results which emanates from the Haematology Laboratory.

– To direct all Hematological laboratory requests to other laboratories within the hospital where mandatory Pathologist Supervision holds… “

( my own comment – private laboratories owned by doctors; what a conflict of interests).

This campaign has now become necessary because it is quite obvious that except we, the regular Nigerians fight for our rights, we may never be able to get even the most basic right.

Healthcare Access is a right that Nigerians have lost over the years. Even in government funded hospitals , there are many anomalies that are not directly the fault of the Government. The above is one of them.

We will never be able to achieve Universal Health Coverage and Better Healthcare for all Nigerians if these anomalies are not corrected.

One of these anomalies is the lack of cordial team relationship in most Nigerian hospitals. It has led to a lot of problems and many patients’ careless deaths.

This current online campaign tagged “ the campaign for better healthcare practices in Nigeria” seeks to highlight one by one the many problems plaguing the Nigerian Health sector and proffering solutions. PhotoGrid_1497728649745This is campaign 1. Please share the tweets and write on this subject till it gets the attention of all who can change the status quo like @MobilePunch @obyezeks @channelstv @AIT_Online @lindaikeji @yates_rob @NGRPresident @ProfOsinbajo. Thank you.

Major Hashtags : #MoHealthNG #BetaHealthNG

Accessory Hashtags : #UHC4AllNigerians #Health4AllNaija #1%4Life

You can use any of the above hashtags when you want to post on Social media.

Here are some tweet ideas. Easily share / post by clicking on the embedded links.

I say No to Wickedness. No to forcing patients to spend more money on Healthcare in LUTH. #MoHealthNG

Is it fair to make patients pay more money because you are fighting with another team member? #MoHealthNG

Treat all patients as if they are your family members; improve #Health4AllNaija #MoHealthNG

Every Nigerian, not only politicians deserves access to the best healthcare possible. #UHC4AllNigerians #1%4Life

Every Nigerian deserves access to appropriate healthcare at the best price #MoHealthNG

Say No forcing poor helpless LUTH patients to pay more for laboratory services #1%4Life.

LUTH patients are Nigerians with rights. No to forceful usage of private laboratories #1%4Life

LUTH patients need access to quality services from qualified personnel #Health4AllNaija

Say No to impunity, restore services and patients to Haematology Laboratory, LUTH.

Thank you very much once more as we work together for improving the Nigerian Healthcare landscape. To join this campaign and get regular updates , please hit the follow button or fill the campaign form at the end of this post.

Thank you. Till the next campaign, I remain…

Sincerely your friend and partner in progress,

Onaoluwa Abimbola.

@AbimbolaOnaolu

#UHC4AllNigerians Advocate.

 

 

 

 

Dear President Buhari,

You are welcome back once more sir. You are the latest proverbial cat with nine lives. While we bless God for your recovery and return, one can not help but wonder if this was fair.
Yesterday, a little child died in an obscure village health centre. The malaria fever which likely killed him most likely took all of 3 days to do it’s damage to an already poorly nourished body that his poor mother was not able to feed properly even before he became sick. The little boy did not have access to health.

That access to appropriate healthcare is what saved you and kept you alive. Is it fair to deny the rest of the Nigerian populace this right? A right to life?
However, this letter is aimed at giving you a bucket list:

1. Make Health Insurance compulsory for all Nigerians. A model for that is posted here.
2. Implement the core Basic Health Care Provision Fund’s guidelines which primarily states that a percentage of our National revenue must be dedicated to healthcare provision.
3. Support and assent to the passage of a bill likely titled “Nigerian Healthcare Providers: Practice and Boundaries” which directs the mapping and online hosting of Nigeria’s healthcare providers and classifies them according to services provided, location, classification by type (either private or public) and catchment population.

Let me explain a bit. If I live in Mokola in Ibadan for instance, the database and online check should tell me with a quick search via SMS or internet, the names of the hospitals in my location and which ones offer any free / UHC /NHIS health service. It should also list by order of priority which centres are government or donor funder supported. This will help people know for instance the closest hospital / medical laboratory where they can get free TB testing and treatment , HIV testing and treatment , Malaria testing and treatment. These are services already free in some facilities supported by government /funders. Yet , quite a lot of people do not know about the free services.
4. Reconstitute the Boards of all health regulatory parastals and give them a mandate to fish out quacks and protect the Nigerian Healthcare space… NAFDAC, MLSCN are key regulatory agencies that need more empowerment due to the very vital nature of their functions .
5. Call a healthcare providers Stakeholders meeting ASAP. Ask and listen to all the demands across board on ways to fix the Nigerian Healthcare system.
I am not writing this open letter to you to talk about the economy or how money can be made available to the average Nigerian. No, I believe you are already aware that the economy is tough for the average Nigerian.
What I am more concerned about is the dismal retrogression in the #UHC4AllNigerians agenda.  Sir, I believe you support the Universal Health Coverage (UHC) push for all Nigerians.
I wrote a short article about how we can achieve UHC faster in Nigeria here.
Your nearly miraculous return and recovery is a lesson to us … On the need for systems and processes that encourage an improved Heathcare output.

We have not yet gotten the model right and a lot of corruption is killing whatever efforts have been made in the past.
Now, you are back and a testimony to the UK’s healthcare system. No jokes, if you had chosen to stay in Nigeria to get your care, you d be dead.
You are not and this is why I plead Sir, please make this opportunity count.
Thank you for reading and taking action on this letter.

Best regards,
Onaoluwa Abimbola.

A very concerned Nigerian.

 

To tweet this letter directly, please click here.

President Buhari’s Speech as broadcast on August 21,2017.

On August 21, 2017, President Muhammad Buhari addressed Nigerians for the first time since his return from his 105 days medical vacation in UK. Below is the authentic full text of the speech.

BROADCAST BY PRESIDENT MUHAMMADU BUHARI, MONDAY, AUGUST 21, 2017
 My dear citizens,
 I am very grateful to God and to all Nigerians for their prayers. I am pleased to be back on home soil among my brothers and sisters.
2.     In the course of my stay in the United Kingdom, I have been kept in daily touch with events at home. Nigerians are robust and lively in discussing their affairs, but I was distressed to notice that some of the comments, especially in the social media have crossed our national red lines by daring to question our collective existence as a nation. This is a step too far.
 3.     In 2003 after I joined partisan politics, the late Chief Emeka Ojukwu came and stayed as my guest in my hometown Daura. Over two days we discussed in great depth till late into the night and analyzed the problems of Nigeria. We both came to the conclusion that the country must remain one and united.
4.     Nigeria’s unity is settled and not negotiable. We shall not allow irresponsible elements to start trouble and when things get bad they run away and saddle others with the responsibility of bringing back order, if necessary with their blood.
5.     Every Nigerian has the right to live and pursue his business anywhere in Nigeria without let or hindrance.
  6.    I believe the very vast majority of Nigerians share this view.
 7.     This is not to deny that there are legitimate concerns. Every group has a grievance. But the beauty and attraction of a federation is that it allows different groups to air their grievances and work out a mode of co-existence.
8.     The National Assembly and the National Council of State are the legitimate and appropriate bodies for national discourse.
9.     The national consensus is that, it is better to live together than to live apart.
10.   Furthermore, I am charging the Security Agencies not to let the successes achieved in the last 18 months be a sign to relax.
11.     Terrorists and criminals must be fought and destroyed relentlessly so that the majority of us can live in peace and safety.
 12.     Therefore we are going to reinforce and reinvigorate the fight not only against;
·       elements of Boko Haram which are attempting a new series of attacks on soft targets
·       kidnappings, farmers versus herdsmen clashes,
·       in addition to ethnic violence fuelled by political mischief makers. We shall tackle them all.
13.   Finally, dear Nigerians, our collective interest now is to eschew petty differences and come together to face common challenges of;
·       economic security,
·       political evolution and integration
·       as well as lasting peace among all Nigerians.
14.     I remain resolutely committed to ensuring that these goals are achieved and maintained. I am so glad to be home.
15.    Thank you and may God bless our dear Nation.

P.S. 
Many speech versions are flying around at the moment . But this is the authentic version.

Nigeria , which way?Suspension of Laboratory Services in LUTH

I am looking at this letter and I am not sure whether to cry or be angry.

Which way Nigeria?
Where are the angels that slap sense into people when you need them?

Why do we have so many problems caused by the direct actions of many selfish people who have no qualms with making poor , innocent Nigerians suffer because they are playing some funny power games?

Why?

Supervision and validation is what the focus of a whole group of professionals has now turned to?

The gist of the above letter is that an association of Doctors in LUTH Nigeria- the MDCAN, have written to her members to stop services at the Haematology and Blood Transfusion Laboratory, claiming that they were not allowed to validate tests which they did not perform ab initio. They also asked fellow doctors to stop sending patients to the laboratory and instead directed that samples meant for Haematology be directed to other laboratories in the Hospital and I m here wondering … Are they planning to send Haematology Samples to Microbiology or even Histopathology labs?
Laws and provisions of the constitution are flippantly flouted and Nigerian lives are the worse for it.
There are quite a number of NICN judgements which the doctors are running foul of by these actions. 
Leaving that aside, the burning question in my mind is that are the MDCAN members willing to go before a law court and swear before God and man that these actions of theirs are purely motivated by the patient good? Or just another avenue to assert authority and superiority over fellow health professionals?

Yet, we will keep mouthing fake and empty phrases claiming we are working towards #UHC4AllNigerians abi na #Health4AllNaija ?
Our way still far ooo… May God have mercy on Nigeria and bring deliverance from all evil that daily beseiges our land. Amen.

#NotTooYoungToRun… But, still tainted? 

For some days now, social media has been awash with jubilation about the passage of the #NotTooYoungToRun bill.
Essentially, this bill opens the way for young Nigerians to contest for elective offices. Ordinarily , I should have been elated with this news. But, I am here wondering if Nigerian youths are ready and untainted enough to lead. From Kenya, there has been some good news that shows that Kenyan youths and indeed the entire country are ready for positive change. Though some tribalism and other dirty politics were reportedly at play; still as reported by QZ news , “there were inspiring stories of young candidates like Simon Muturi, a 24-year-old, who campaigned on his bicycle and secured nomination through president Kenyatta’s Jubilee party. But the biggest breakthrough has been the election of underdogs like John Paul Mwirigi, a 23-year-old candidate who had been campaigned on foot and who defeated the ruling party’s candidate. 

After winning the Igembe South parliamentary seat, Mwirigi is set to be the country’s youngest lawmaker. In Nandi county, located in Kenya’s north rift valley, 34-year-old Stephen Kipyego Sang made history after winning the gubernatorial seat in the county. Sang was also Kenya’s youngest elected senator… But it was the election of Mohammed Ali, a veteran investigative journalist, that drew the most attention. Ali ran as an independent candidate and won in the Nyali constituency in Mombasa county, an area filled with expensive hotels and tourist resorts.

Ali became a household name several years ago after he launched his television show Jicho Pevu, an investigative program that exposed crime and corruption in both government and private sectors. The former journalist had even received death threats in the past in order to deter him from his work. Ali was also part of a growing number of young people, including activists, who decided to run given the simmering disappointment among Kenyans with the current regime.”

I sincerely pray that this breath of fresh air in Kenya translate to real positive change. Now, back to Nigeria…


Sadly, I am worried that the majority of the present crop of young Nigerians lack the moral fibre needed to actually translate any governance opportunity to real positive change . It will soon be 2019, are Nigerian youths ready for the challenge?

What do I mean?
Governance is not a function of one person. It is a joining of forces that ensures that people from different walks of life, divergent worldviews and contrasting strengths can come together to achieve a common purpose… Viz a viz the community’s progress.

In Nigeria at the moment , ascent to a political office is tied to money bags, propaganda and godfatherism. The Kenyan who contested as an independent because he could not afford the nomination form of any of the political parties is a beautiful example of moral fibre. T
he 24-year-old Female House of Rep member in Kenya, Cynthia Jepkosgei Muge  was an independent candidate who crowd funded her campaign via social media. 

 I m here wondering if a Nigerian youth can replicate this laudable feat?

I mean do we have intelligent, knowledgeable and versatile Nigerian youths who will rather choose to contest as an independent candidate rather than become tied to money bag political godfathers who then go on to dictate most of the actions and direction of the elected official?
Do we?

If we do not have a sufficient cluster of young people who fit this mold , then we might as well just go back to sleep, knowing that we are only doing the same things but with a little change in labels and tags.

In the past few months, I have been a first hand observer of two different types of politics. The better politics and result came from a group that had more adult members. At the end of the whole exercise, there was little or no rancour. The second group with an all youth membership is the very one that has given more reasons to wonder … Which way forward?

To do a brief summary of the differences; the youth group had a higher cost for nomination forms, which I m sure kept out some excellent candidates from contesting…

Youths often complain that the elders raise the bar so high , so that the young ones are kept out… When youths do the same to their fellow youths, what then shall we say?

 Propaganda and smear campaigns were a major feature of that youth group election. It was virtually nonexistent in the adult group.

  The electoral committee for the Youth group elections; were made of very excellent senior colleagues  and they did a great job. They screened all candidates and even gave scores based on performance. 

But, when it came time to cast votes…? Sentiments and parochial interests played out and some young persons became political pawns in an eerie game.

Am I saying that elders are perfect ? No. 
I am merely highlighting a worrisome aspect of my generation. In the same vein , I am also praying that we do better and improve on the current status quo.

Today’s youths need to begin to take a stand for ideology and not for persons. When I told a friend of mine that if he was contesting against a much better qualified candidate, I would vote for the other better qualified person- he was shocked.
But, the truth is until we begin to leave out sentiments and work only on logical facts and figures available; we may not make the needed progress.
We can no longer continue to do the same thing we have been doing in Nigeria and expect different results.
This is the time to vote for candidates , not because they belong to the same political party or are from the same tribe or even belong to the same religion… This is the time to check candidates history , capabilities and compare it with the need of the moment.
This is the time to remove the taints of yesteryears … And clean off every stain that makes us no different from or better than the generation gone before us.
P.S. This photo? I don’t know who took the shot or remember what we were even discussing… Location was the Ministry of Justice Complex, Abuja , just before the start of Day 2 of the YMLSF National Summit. I found it in my gallery and it seems to describe the enormity of the challenges that lie ahead. I ve got hope… That we will triumph…against all odds. 
Do you agree? Do let us continue the discourse and upgrade with action too. Cheers.

Lamee Tomtsu … Remembering another like Dora Akunyili…

Today I sit down and remember a fearless and brave woman. The late Prof. Dora Akunyili who cleaned the Augean stables of NAFDAC. She it was who also spoke out even at great risk to herself; and frustrated the Cabal’s  plans over Nigeria.
Another like Dora Akunyili is gone. Princess Lamee Tomtsu Nude. Since yesterday when I heard this tragic news, I have been unable to accept it. Praying for a miracle that you be restored back to us. I remember when we first met in the Rivers AMLSN Conference, you the ever outgoing one rushed to ask that we take photographs and you posted in the group. I can not stop crying yet.

Only in reading this morning that your body has already been embalmed am I able to stop praying for your return back to us, sit and reflect on our very recent conversations.

When I tried to convince you to run for the office of National Treasurer in YMLSF, you were empathic in your refusal and I had jokingly responded that “it looks like it is elders that we would have to call on to convince you ooo”… Then just two days ago, just before the AGM started you were saying you wanted to go hand over a role you were currently serving in back in your State’s LQM; that you had too many responsibilities… I had encouraged you more so you said you were the only MLS in a team of many others.

Now, I wonder if you had a premonition of your exit or all of these are just mere coincidences.

I remember you as a fearless, brave and lovely woman full of heart. I grieve because I m yet to accept that your time on this plane was truly done. 
You were truly loving , quick to forgive and always ready to help, even at short notice.

Against all odds , you stood by me in Abuja at the recently concluded YMLSF National Summit. At short notice, you accepted to be a panelist, to be my returning officer and to join me to serve guests on the high table.  I grieve because when we said our byes, it was never with an inkling that it was to be the final one. I am asking why, why did it have it to be you? Why now?  No answers within reach yet. 
Instead, I will thank God for your life and and all the excellent virtues you embodied.

Today, I pray that Nigeria be blessed with more like Lamee Tomtsu , people who embody courage, passion and fearlessness for the right causes, more of the Dora Akunyilis mold; both males and females. AMLSN in Nigeria and indeed YMLSF has lost a rare  gem.

I pray for God’s comfort for your immediate family in these tragic times. If I who knew you briefly as a professional sister , friend and colleague is still crying… I can not imagine what state your beloved parents , siblings and loved ones are in now. May the God of all comfort stand by us all at this time. Amen.

Voluntary Blood donors are heroes

I just spoke with one of the best volunteers I know, a young man whose selflessness has made him embraced regular voluntary blood donation.
He is a hero , courageous and always ready to do something , anything that makes another life better… Why don’t we have more people like Oriola Oladipupo in Nigeria? If we did, we would definitely be better off.
Why did I call him? I wanted to apologise that I could not put up a planned post which I wanted to use in commemoration of World Blood Donor’s Day- celebrated June 14, every year… The culprit- my spoilt tablet device and my miserly choice of not backing up my photos via Google Photos.

I had taken a photo of him the last time he donated… Voluntarily oooo. No body begged him to  , he did not have a patient  relative. 

So now, what ‘s stopping you from becoming a voluntary donor?     

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