Dear Presidential Candidates,
While you argue about the most banal issues such as zoning arrangements, single or double terms, north and south etc and all the other issues that do not matter to the average Nigerian, and indeed simply insult our intelligence we want to offer you some publicly available data on health that might help you decide on what you really should be thinking about at this time.
You will need to understand what is happening to the health of the people you seek to serve. Dear Sirs, you will need to learn from the mistakes of our former presidents who appropriated all the funds in the health sector to white elephant projects – like that awarded to VAMED by our beloved ex president; Chief Olusegun Obasanjo. Our former president awarded on our behalf, to a single firm; VAMED, a N9.5 billion ($65 million) contract to supply medical equipment to twelve medical centres in the country. Yet, he had barely left office when our subsequent President had a “catarrh”, and was promptly ferried abroad, to Germany again at the expense of the same Nigerians that had paid VAMED! Despite the investments, none none of us Nigerians can point to any of those facilities as a beacon of hope for health care in our country.
So we suggest you let us know your plans to address some of these most basic indices of our development as they relate to the health sector. If you find these difficult to understand please seek out the competence to assist you. They are not insurmountable.
What are you going to do to give Nigerians a chance at a fulfilled life. We currently have a life expectancy at birth of 47 years. Many of us Nigerians might not still be alive between the time this blog is published and the April elections.
What are you going to do about the sad fact that 75 out of every 1000 live deliveries die before they are one. These are not abstract numbers, but the children of families that you expect to turn out in April to vote for you.
What of our mothers? 500 of our mothers still die in every 100,000 deliveries. In their grief, will they come to vote?
We could go on and on, but it is just too painful. All the official data from the National Demography and Health Survey of 2008 is available for you.
Click here for a report. Read it! Please
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed people can change the world; indeed it is the only thing that ever has…Margaret Mead