Nigeria’s former Minister of Health, Professor Adenike Grange has blamed the Nigerian governments at all levels for the poor health care delivery system in the country.
Delivering a keynote speech at the 19th Professor Bassey Andah Memorial Lecture at weekend, Professor Grange said short life expectancy caused by high infant and maternal mortality rate is one of the major challenges facing the country’s healthcare delivery system.
She attributed this to misplaced priorities by parents and the absence of effective health care delivery in Primary and secondary healthcare facilities and even tertiary health care institutions, which have become mere referral centres is worsening the healthcare system in the country.
Grange said “over the years effective policies and programmes for establishment of Primary, secondary and tertiary facilities and institutions have been formulated to combat all health needs of the people but lack of efficient management has reduced the exercise to below average”.
To effectively tackle and overcome health care delivery challenges, she said, there should be effective planning alongside other relevant sectors and should not be seen as business as usual but brought under frequent scrutiny by the relevant supervisory authorities to find lasting solution, adding that the bulk of healthcare delivery challenges relate to issues encountered in the process of reducing maternal and child mortality rate which has become intractable.
“From the womb to the tomb, there are clinical conditions which could be prevented jointly by the patient and the healthcare team and a well spaced family through the use of family planning will ensure that babies have a better chance of survival which is not the case in most Nigerian societies”, she added.
She said the recent spate of kidnappings, terrorist activities, incessant killings across the country have had psychological, emotional and social trauma on the people which have aggravated the health situation of people of all ages in many communities.
Accordingly, she advised government to also intensify effort in this direction to ensure a peaceful, better health care system and healthy environment for the citizenry.