Wednesday, September 08, 2010

On the ongoing cholera epidemic

Good post on Nigeria Health Watch on the ongoing cholera epidemic in Nigeria.


CodLiverOil 4:06 pm  
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CodLiverOil 2:44 am  

I can not understand why the issue of health is taken as something of a joke, by the government and public organisations.

The ministry of health has repeatedly failed to deliver, yet nobody says or does anything, in a so-called “democratic era”.

There was an incident of Lassa fever

Click here

There was the outbreak of lead poisoning, due to unplanned and unregulated gold extraction in Zamfara state

Click here

Now the cholera epidemic

Click here

There are many others, but these are just a few, that have been mentioned (that occurred in 2010).

All these incidents have seen the Nigerian government go scurrying off the the UN (United Nations) for assistance. What is the use having staff such as these? Why are they not suspended and replaced with more capable and committed people? Why is there no improvement?

Who has ever heard of decent hospital without clean drinking water? Healthcare will continue to dog Nigeria, because you can’t gloss over the basic requirements, infrastructure has to be put in place and maintained, vigilance is a necessity. One can ignore these foundations at your peril and the result will be constant outbreaks and the needless loss of innocent lives, not to mention the endangerment of the populace at large, all because officials are too preoccupied with making money and the neglect of service delivery. That is a big shame.

CodLiverOil 10:48 am  

About the cholera tragedy that is sweeping large sections of the country. What is particularly disheartening, is that the president has not sought it appropriate to visit the victims and pledge that no such recurrence will occur.

Clean drinking water and adequate sanitation are not luxuries. The United Nations has targeted the provision of sustainable drinking water and basic sanitation.

Click here

Under the section entitled “Target 7C: “

I believe Nigeria is a signatory to this. I think we can all agree that clean drinking water and proper sanitation are necessities of life.

Yet the inaction and callousness displayed by all tiers of government. Speaks volumes as to how Nigeria regards health, sustainability etc. Those government officials who are responsible for formulating a “health policy”, never fail to exploit the trappings of the job, ie foreign travel, access to international organisations, generous allowances, and take pictures in crisp agbadas (for the men), and snappy geles and wrappers (or bubus) for the women, make for a nice image for foreign media.

Many Nigerians (including government officials) regard themselves as “religious” often displaying the outward trappings of observing religion. But when it comes to stemming the preventable loss of life by those who are entrusted with the health and well-being of the populace, this “religiousity” is revealed as being merely superficial. It appears more to be a badge of social acceptance. Those “less religious” people who work for NGO (non-governmental organisations), do a better job for caring for people, whom they have no real connection to other than they are fellow human beings.

If Nigeria has no intention of advancing the lot of all it’s peoples, the government should come clean and say it has no intention of improving the well-being off it’s “citizens”. They should not sign any more conventions, and should walk away from those, which it has signed, but for one reason or another failed to implement. This shoddy governance and attitude to being ruled, is partly responsible for the under-development of the country. Then people will really know what kind of country Nigeria is. The poor will realise, if they were expecting the government to improve their lot even in only a little way, they would have been well and truly duped.

People can turn their heads away and pretend that the suffering of those will not reach the elites of Lagos, Kano and Abuja etc, but history has shown we can not ignore pressing issues forever, and given the disorder and lack of hygiene that pervades the land, bacteria will spread.

Nigerians have so many issues and to date have hardly dealt with any of them, always attributing the blame to anyone but themselves. This reluctance to face up to the challenges that confront us, does not bode well for the country in the short or medium term. The country has been relatively fortunate up to now, but this can’t go on forever.

What kind of society is it when people are dying for a lack of clean drinking water and adequate sanitation, whilst millions (of dollars) disappear on a daily basis? If we fail to answer this, we are asking for more trouble.

CodLiverOil 3:31 pm  
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