How many Nigerians are buried on a daily basis without their really dying?
I have started with Lona and husband and extended it to their community. First, was to educate them about the need for always confirming death by a qualified healthcare personnel before burial. Lona is quite brave. When she gave me the photo of her boy on my request (photo in the first part of this story), she said “she was giving me the photo with the hope that it would help tell her story and prevent more tragic stories like hers). She wanted us to advocate and get the government to build a health centre close to her village. The long distance they had to travel obviously contributed to the sad end of Matthew’s very short life.
Secondly, we (@HAID Initiative) are encouraging them and others to take advantage of the Ogun State subsidized Community Based Health Insurance Scheme – ARAYA and subscribe at the rate of N4000 per year while we work on paying for the children of parents who subscribe in the first phase of the #OCP – One Community at A Time Project.
Baaki: Mark and Lona’s village community was one of the villages that benefited from the HAID Initiative 2015 UHC Day outreach. 324 persons got free testing and medical treatments during the full day medical outreach that had 18 healthcare workers (doctors, nurses, medical laboratory scientists and pharmacists) as well as 5 non medical volunteers attending to the medical needs of the villagers.
At the post-outreach review, the obvious next step was to push for/facilitate access to basic healthcare services for the villagers and that is the genesis of the #OCP (One Community at a time Project). The goal is still #UHC4AllNigerians – Universal Health Coverage for all Nigerians.
“We cannot afford the money now” the farmers say, as this is planting season and until harvest comes, many of the farmers do not have money. They survive on the store of corn flour and cassava flour they made in the previous season.
More investigations though show that apart from the seasonal monetary hindrance, many of the farmers cannot pay per head costs for all the members of their family. For some who would be able to pay; a lack of trust generated by previous experiences in government hospitals makes them wary of the whole idea of health coverage managed by a government agency. For all of them a taster experience would definitely be of immense benefit. But, who will provide the taster experience? At the moment though, #UHC4AllNigerians looks like an impossible task.
But, how many more children have to die before we work to make #UHC4AllNigerians a reality? We can not afford to keep citing terrible maternal and child mortality statistics; year in year out. There is an urgent need for workable solutions that help prevent the deaths of the helpless young. Say hello to #OCP… Read more about the OCP here.
In my reflection moments, I wonder if the reason we remain behind in Scientific and technological advancements is because we could not save our Nigerian Albert Einsteins and Isaac Newtons… Maybe they died in infancy and we could not save them.
To give one child the opportunity to have access to basic healthcare access for a year would cost N4000:00k (Naira). Matthew is gone, but there are more children just like him, who need help… to access basic healthcare services.
Would you be willing to give this gift of love; of healthcare access for a child; not your own?