Dear Mr President,
Its been a week now since you had to leave suddenly for Wiesbaden, Germany for what your able Special Adviser Olusegun Adeniyi described as a medical review of an indisposition believed to be due to an allergic reaction.
“We honestly wish you all the very best”
Yes…we know a little about the health care system in Germany…and you will no doubt get excellent care.
However, the great thing is that you will get no better care than any other German citizen will get. You might have a bigger room…and a few more visits by the “Chefartz”…but that’s about it. Every German citizen will get the same quality of medical care you got! Amazing isn’t it?
Sir, we hope your experience in Germany will spur you into prioritising our health sector. It is in desperate distress. We do not have a substantive health minister. The legacy of the last 8 years is a cancelled contract to build primary care centres and a flawed contact to supply multi-million dollar equipment to our hospitals with no electricity to run them. The Chairperson of the Senate committee on health, no less a person that the daughter of our ex-president is on the run from EFCC while the Health Bill has been sitting with the National Assembly for 3 years.
Sir, if nothing else you will have heard about the measles outbreaks in your home state Katsina, and the Cerebrospinal Meningitis outbreak in the neighbouring Zaria. You will have heard that over the past few months there were a series of strikes by Doctors all over the country which have only been suspended…we are worried.
Sir, in the 8 years before you came into office, the term “Health Sector Reforms” was bandied around…and our development partners poured their “Aid” at us. Unlike in the banking, telecommunications or insurance sectors, Nigerians cannot identify any impact of these “reforms” in our lives. The famous declaration of our hospitals as “mere consulting clinics” now seems like praise rather than criticism…as they have become a lot worse.
Sir, while panels are reviewing the state of our power sector, our oil sector and our national security…the health sector never gets the attention it deserves. We seem to have accepted the status quo. Your able SA media might have mentioned how much the health and health sector is discussed in the German media. Watching the election campaigns unfold in the USA, one cannot help but notice how important the “health care plans” of the candidates are. Our health sector has benefited from little strategic thinking in the past years and our health goals are still enumerated in such simplistic terms as “how many clinics we intend to build”!!!
Sir, while we all remain Faithful in the Almighty, the nature of the earth we live in demands that we will need emergency health care sometimes. Sometimes even the short 6-hour flight to Germany might be too long to wait. When you do need emergency medical care. Sir…you will be surprised at what you will find…even in our finest. Like all Faithful Nigerians, I agree that God’s time is best and if it His will…it will come to pass. But I insist that The Almighty does not have anything against Nigerians…so why would he allow us to keep dieing of diseases no one else is dieing from.
Sir, allow me to conclude by again wishing you well. When you return….with your experience in Germany fresh in your memory, the sparkling wards, the courteous staff, the competent doctors. We implore you to pay a few unscheduled visits to our hospitals. What you will see will negate the need for any further letters to you Sir.
Get well soon Mr President! Alles Gute!
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