How Corruption Destroyed Our Health System
How Corruption Destroyed Our Health System – By Iheoma Obibi
Our state television channels have been inundated
with claims by state governors of beautifully constructed and equipped hospitals they have built and
excellent healthcare delivery services being offered
to the people in their respective states. The mirage of
twin mirrors is all too real because when you appear
at the designated hospital location the next day, you
will not find anything that has any semblance with
what you saw on the television the previous night.
This is Nigeria where projects are conceived, executed on paper,
and someone in a ministry somewhere signs-off that the job has
Every day, several second term governors jostle for television air
time just to show people how they are working hard to ensure
quality healthcare. The reality is rather more lurid, there is often
no hospital under construction; it is a farce and it is mostly 3D
computer-generated. Even where one is being built, it takes years to
Every year, governors inundate us with huge sums tagged as
budget to improve living standards, with health being allocated a
limited amount. Yet year in and out, Nigerians who can afford it, are
flown abroad to receive emergency medicare which may be near
absent in government-owned hospitals. Others, rely on self- medication often with disastrous results and a lack of resources to get the
best medicare die from ailments that should not have killed them.
How can one comprehend the simple fact that a state that
has over two million people does not have an MRI machine or
mammogram machine in any government-owned hospital, yet
some consultants of the same hospitals own the best gadgets in their
This can only happen in Nigeria, where oddity appears normal.
Every day, people lose loved ones to death because of the absence of
unreliable medical equipment to keep them alive. It has been noted
the increase in the number of persons battling organ failures such as
kidney or liver failure. But how many hospitals have enough dialysis
machines to cope with the numbers of patients? It is not surprising
to note that out of all the hospitals in your state, no government-owned hospital has one.
More worrisome is that the sudden emergence of COVID19
has forced all of us to acknowledge that only a few states in
Nigeria have functional ventilator machines to aid patients having
respiratory challenges due to serious ill-health in the government
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