Health is Life. Without health, life means little or nothing and as such, health must be cared for by those adequately trained to do so.

Health, according to the World Health Organisation’s definition is a state of complete Physical, Mental and Social Wellbeing, not merely the absence of diseases and infirmity. This definition of health implies that someone you consider healthy, in actual sense may not be Healthy. To decipher who is “Healthy or not”, regular hospital visits to see a qualified medical doctor is recommended annually. Especially for persons above 40years and also those with a family history of chronic diseases like Hypertension, Diabetes, Cancers and others, because “a stitch in time saves nine” as the saying goes.

In Nigeria most people wait till they are seriously ill or incapacitated before going to the Hospital even when they have the resources to do so. Those who do not have the resources, most times attribute their health challenges to witchcraft or spiritual problems and resort to prayers and fetish sacrifices.

Our governments, both previous and current have not funded or paid serious attention to Healthcare. This is evident in the annual budgetary allocations for Health which has always been below the WHO recommended 15%. For instance, in 2022 our budgetary allocation for Healthcare was 5.35%. What this implies is that, Healthcare providers are not adequately paid, standard equipment are not purchased, fake and substandard drugs litter most Pharmacies. This poor funding or lack of Government commitment to Healthcare also takes its toll on Healthcare professionals emotional and mental wellbeing, which ultimately most times result to poor outcome in medical and surgical treatments.

Developed countries fund Healthcare services or have various forms of Healthcare insurance Services. Recently in a seminar, a Nigerian lady who had her baby delivered abroad told stories of her lovely experiences in an American hospital; of how the Healthcare Professionals treated her so well and how everything worked perfectly. She ended the story by telling us that her bill eventually was so high because she was not under the American insurance cover.

Quality Healthcare is not cheap anywhere in the world and for people to enjoy quality healthcare it must be funded by Government.

In Nigeria, many years after the commencement of Health Insurance Scheme only less than 5% of Nigerians could be said to be benefiting. Quality Healthcare is still a mirage. Many people have resorted to patronizing quacks and religious houses just to cut costs and this has resulted to the deaths of many. Healthcare is a serious business because it involves the lives of people, and anyone can be a victim because it may be too late to fly out of the country especially during emergencies.

Quality Healthcare can only be given by adequately trained and retrained Healthcare professionals. Our Government and financial institutions must come together to support the Healthcare industry in Nigeria. The high price of diesel and dollar rate in Nigeria is already affecting Healthcare businesses. Healthcare business is not a business where providers cut corners because it involves lives.

Despite all these challenges, things are not totally bad in Nigeria Healthcare system as some Private and Government owned Hospitals are beginning to change the narratives in our Healthcare system. Some of such hospitals abound in Lagos, Abuja and Port-Harcourt, and many of these “5 Star Hospitals” have been featured in the previous editions of the AfriHealth Expo Magazine.

The AfriHealth Expo Magazine is set to showcase Excellent Healthcare products and Services in Nigeria for the edification and wellbeing of Nigerians; and the annual AFRIHEALTH EXPO has now been expanded to Lagos from Port-Harcourt.

The AfriHealth Expo is a gathering of Healthcare Providers, Entrepreneurs and Healthcare enthusiasts to Network, Learn, Interact and see latest innovations at the exhibition booths, as well build business relationships with Exhibitors and other participants. The 3 days event, which could best be described as a beehive of Healthcare Business activities features: Lectures, Training Workshops, Panel Discussions and Award Presentations. It is targeted at improving Healthcare Delivery and reducing outbound Medical Tourism.

Earlier this year in July, the Port-Harcourt edition of the event took place at Hotel Presidential in Rivers state. It witnessed a large gathering of Healthcare professionals from within and outside the state. The Lagos AfriHealth Expo is however scheduled for the 9th – 11th of November, 2022 at the Airport Hotel Ikeja. With the renowned obstetrician and Fertility Medicine expert, Dr Ibrahim Wada OON, as the distinguished keynote speaker for the event. Dr Ibrahim is the Chairman of Nisa Premier Hospital in Abuja and he would be speaking on Quality Healthcare Accessibility in Nigeria.

Furthermore, the newest edition of the AfriHealth Expo Magazine provided an expose on Nisa Premier Hospital Abuja and Federal Medical Centre Ebute Metta Lagos, as leading facilities providing quality healthcare in Nigeria today. Although Nisa Premier is a privately owned and FMC Ebute Metta is a government owned, both are tertiary level hospitals being run by highly disciplined and competent Medical Directors in the persons of Dr Ibrahim Wada OON and Dr Adedamola Dada respectively. These Chief Medical Directors, in recent times have become the face of quality healthcare in Nigeria, with their great achievements in increasing the quality of Healthcare in their respective hospitals. However, they still have peculiar challenges, which could be a point of learning and work in progress as compared to their counterparts.

About Author:

Dr Chijioke Mbelu is the Publisher of AfriHealth Expo Magazine, a free publication created for the relaxation and enlightenment of readers towards improving healthcare literacy in Nigeria. He can be contacted via 08033392202 and newyoudoctor@gmail.com for enquires, sponsorship and partnerships.

The AfriHealth Expo Magazine is a compilation of insightful and informative Healthcare articles and trending news items on Lifestyle and Healthcare issues in Africa. The publication also contains mind blowing advertorials on some of the excellent and modern hospital, diagnostic services and equipment, quality pharmaceutical products, and places to procure them at affordable prices in Nigeria. 

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