Health is a prerequisite for development and the current state of the Nigerian health care system does not give any indication that the country’s renaissance is coming anytime soon. Nigeria boasts the dubious honor of one of the highest maternal mortality rates in the world, child mortality does not fare any better either. Malaria, Polio, HIV/Aids rates are still far too high for comfort. As such, it is imperative for the country to generate new ideas and bring new actors into the system. Something has to change.
This Health Desk is Nigerians Talk’s attempt to start conversations about how Nigeria will gather the will and ideas to change the health system.
In this issue, the current struggle to eradicate polio in the country is debated by 3 prolific analysts. Temie Giwa argues that parents who refuse vaccination be prosecuted in this interesting piece. Hez Shobiye and Maimunat Adeomi both argue for soft power in getting suspicious parents on the same side as the health workers who want to save their children’s lives. Another piece by Tayo O argues for eradicating mosquitoes to save thousands of children and pregnant women who are still dying of Malaria in 2012. Seyi Taylor discusses the current Lagos State doctor’s strike and its effect on the health of Nigerians. Hez Shobiye provides an analytical and accessible introduction to the way Nigerians pay for health care and how that affects their health outcomes. And finally Remi Oyedeji’s Doctor’s Note takes you into the world of a young Nigerian physician, with its attending horrors and moments of grace.
All these pieces aim to educate, explain and analyze how the Nigerian health system got where it is today and how to innovate for better health for all Nigerians.
It was a labor of love, and we hope you enjoy reading and that you will learn something.