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COVID-19 pandemic amid Nigeria’s frail healthcare system

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THE novel nature of the coronavirus pandemic which has thrown the entire world into pandemonium, has brought to the fore the imperative of good healthcare delivery in Nigeria.

The scary scenario of the impact of the perplexing plague more especially in the developing countries of the world like Nigeria stemmed from the apparent failure and outright misplacement of priority of national and sub-national governments vis-a-vis- the provision of basic infrastructural facilities and amenities and white elephant projects.

  Given the fact that health is number one basic need of the society since good health is tied to productivity and wealth creation in any society,

scientific and technological nations of the world have been according top priority to health hence the prevalence of state-of-the-art health institutions with equipments and sufficiently funded researches and facilities that enable governments to come to grips with complex developments in human and animal health including outbreaks of pandemic.

  In as much as the deadly Coronavirus has taken advanced nations of the world unawares but they stand the chance of countervailing the devastating impact because of the state-of-the-art medical facilities and infrastructure like well-heeled research institutions, necessary equipment for quarantine and quality drugs and medicaments for treatment and assured treatment of patients.

The top priority accorded to healthcare delivery system and great opportunities for the training of specialists in virtually all fields has made health institutions in the advanced countries of the world to be destinations for health tourism from highly placed government officials and well-heeled business moguls.

  It is perplexing that the horrifying savagery of the coronavirus which made World Health Organization [WHO] to declare it a pandemic is so scaring having defied the medical sophistication of developed nations of the world.

Nevertheless, the rate of containment of the devastating plague is far more reassuring than in the developing countries which have dearth of medical infrastructures and state-of-the-art facilities.

  It is now imperative for the developing countries of the world to re-engineer their governments to not only place great emphasis on the basic needs of the society like sanitation, potable water supply, healthcare system and research institutions with adequate annual budgetary provisions in the education, health, and public utilities sectors.

  In the light of the ravages of the Coronavirus the world over, it is important that developing countries should learn to be proactive since such grave existential crises can emanate from natural occurrences from any part of the world.

The structural configuration of the Nigerian economy that verge on crude oil as the only significant foreign exchange earning window is likely to make the lower and middle income segment to be predisposed to great privations going by the lockdown in the economic activities.

  It is interesting to note that in Anambra State, Governor Willie Obiano has thought expansively as he rolled out substantial palliative measures like distributing 200 bags of rice to people above 70 years of age, in addition to providing isolating centres for people that have been tested positive to mitigate the effects of the global pandemic.

This is to complement federal government’s Presidential Task Force which has mobilised the whole instruments of government to confront what have become both a health emergency and economic crises. Happily, the federal government has started planning preventive, containment and curative measures.

  It is advisable that the government should scale up preventive measures and be proactive for such dire health-threatening developments in future.

With such a disease that is capable of historic disruption of human existence, the subsisting poor healthcare indices in Nigeria makes imperative for the financial contributions of well-to-do Nigerians to augment government efforts towards the alleviation of the plight of the victims should be applauded. 

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