Anyaoku Decries Decline In Nigeria’s Health Sector

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Posted on April 23, 2018

AWKA – Chief Emeka Anyaoku, former Commonwealth Secretary-General, has said that over 4,765 Nigerian doctors are currently working in the United Kingdom (UK) and constituting 1.7 percent of the total of that county’s medical workforce.

Anyaoku said that the number of medical doctors was a confirmation of the decline of the Nigeria’s health sector.

He disclosed this figures during the celebration of the 110th Anniversary of the Iyi-Enu Mission Hospital and the launch of an ultramodern Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI), in the hospital at Ogidi in Idemili North Local Government Area of Anambra State.

The elder statesman said Iyi-Enu Mission Hospital Ogidi, had been no exception from the general decline of institutions throughout the country.

He said that at 85, people of his age feel nostalgia for the old days in the early years of the country’s Independence especially in the 1960s and 1970s, when the Commonwealth ranked Nigeria 4th in the hierarchy of health sector efficiency countries.

“In fact, at that time,” he continued, “ours was a country that itself was attracting medical tourism on account of the quality of the services offered by the University Teaching Hospital, Ibadan.

“But today, it is lamentable that the Federal Government’s endorsement of the World Health Organization ((WHO) recommendation that 13 percent of the national budget should be allocated to the  health sector, as well as the African Union’s Abuja declaration in 2001 that 15 percent of the national budget should be allocated to the health sector, only a paltry sum of between about 3.4 percent and 5.6 percent is allocated”.

Anyaoku said the result of the ridiculously low budgetary allocation to the health sector over the years, combined with what was often referred to as “the Nigerian factor,” had been that the nation is assailed with ill-equipped hospitals that have very low grade facilities such that most of our hospitals have been reduced to mere consulting clinics.

He further lamented that recently, the nation was shocked when it was revealed that even the Aso Rock Clinic that attends to the nation’s highest political leaders and their families was completely lacking in basic facilities like drugs and even syringes.

“It was, therefore, no surprise that when he visited Nigeria recently, Bill Gates, the Chairman of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, in criticising Nigeria for spending relatively far too little on the development of its human capital, pointing to the nation’s health sector alongside the education sector as some of the most neglected.

“Bill Gates was quoted as saying that Nigeria is one of the most of dangerous places in the world to give birth with the fourth worst maternity rate in the world ahead of only Sierra Leone, Central African Republic and Chad, Anyaoku said.

He commend the authorities of Iyi-Enu Hospital under the leadership of the Bishop on the Niger, Rt. Rev. Owen Nwokolo, for accepting the challenge of restoring Iyi-Enu Hospital to its past glory and urged the management to take seriously, the importance of specific training of

technicians for the maintenance of the sophisticated diagnostic, dialysis and the MRI equipment that are installed.

The event was attended by Ike Ekweremadu, Deputy Senate President; Osita Chidoka, former Minister of Aviation,  Chief Emeka Anyaoku; the State Commissioner for Information, C. Don Adinuba, the Traditional Ruler of Ogidi, Igwe Alex Uzu Onyido, among others.

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