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Promoting “Preventive Health Care System” In Nigeria

By Babatunde Joseph Oduntan
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TWO Nigerian medical practitioners, Dr. Adamu Onuh and Dr. (Mrs.) Abimbola Silva have identified reduction in junk food intake, regular body exercise and routine medical examination as the most important steps towards a healthy population that will ensure the success of “Preventive Health Care System” in Nigeria.

The duo professional medical family physicians expressed these views on Saturday, 23rd July 2016 in their ‘Radio Link’ discussion titled: “Preventive Health Care System in Nigeria,” moderated by Mr. Solomon Ukpeh, the regular host for the weekly Radio Nigeria- Radio Link weekly programme.

The physicians both agreed that poor information and education on the part of the rural populace are the cause of many preventable diseases that have plagued and killed many people in the country. They observed that many sick people do not see the need to visit the hospital until they are completely broken down

Dr. Onuh in his submission believes that preventive health care starts from man’s cradle until old age and is a process that involves Prima, primary, Secondary and Tertiary preventive health care system. He however praised and commended the efforts of past successive governments in the country for their support for the total eradication of Polio and Ebola disease threats.

In as much as the discussants agreed that the state of ‘Preventive Healthcare System’ in Nigeria is still belowwhat obtains in developed countries of the world and is tsill not reaching a large number of people at the grass root, they are of joint opinion that, the new government of President Muhammadu Buhari must promote preventive Health care system in the country by increasing budget allocation for the health sector, check brain drain by providing adequate and modern medical equipment and facilities for working,improve renumeration for heath workers, training and retaining for health workers, allow private sector participation in healthcare delivery, reduce importation tariff or custom duties on imported medical equipment and the opportunity of loans for private Doctors and individual stake holder in the health sector to operate and support the government for the success of the primary health care delivery programme in Nigeria.

The discussants advocated for more media involment in publicity programmes to inform and educate the masses on the importance of preventive health care programme for children, parents and families in the country.

They call on religious institutions, traditional and community leaders in the country to support government efforts to educate, encourage and enlighten their people to embrace and avail themselves the opportunity of government preventive health care programme in the country.

They commend government National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) for workers in the country, but call on government to play its role, co-ordinate and harness available human and material resources in the health sector to ensure affordable, prompt and adequate medical care for the people.

After answering questions and suggestions raised by callers and contributors by phone, short phone message, emails and other social media platforms, Dr. Onuh rounded up the discussion with the plea that, for the success of the preventive Health Care system in Nigeria, government at all levels(Federal, states and Local governments), All cadres of Health workers, the private sector and patients themselves must work together and co-ordinate efforts to make preventive health care delivery in Nigeria a success.