Communication is critical to leadership, critical to management, and extremely critical to health care; from the nurse to the Minister. Communication lies at the heart of every aspect of health; including disease prevention, health promotion, treatment and care. Therefore; timely, accessible
and credible health information is critical for improving public health outcomes.
Yet, in our Nigeria, communication has been overlooked, at all stages of contact with the health system – from the nurse to the Minister! The patient (the “population” for us in public health) should be at the centre of all communication about health. Sadly – at best we receive a few tablets and are asked to take it 3 times a day! This is not fit for purpose in 2011. Our doctors, nurses, pharmacists must communicate better, with respect and humility. Our Ministry of Health must communicate better with the population they have been called to serve.
We have highlighted in the past the relatively good website of Nigerian Federal Ministry of Health set up for them by the DFID sponsored Partnership for Transforming Health Systems II. The structure of the website is great, but there are still a lot of improvements possible.The Department of Public Health consists entirely of 1 page of information, while that of the Department of Hospital services, on which the Ministry spends 80% of its resources is “still being developed“…but we are indeed hopeful. The biggest deficit with the website is the absence of any interactive features – so communication is uni-directional; from them to us! But, before any of you reading this complains, visit the website of the Nigerian Federal Ministry of Education – gosh…can’t we do better?
But there is some hope in the horizon! Our Minister of Health has signed unto Twitter. Please follow him on @FMOHNigeria….and while you are at it, follow us at @NigHealthWatch!
In addition the Minister of State for Health, Dr Muhammad Ali-Pate, will be speaking and taking questions at a Webinar (short for Web-based Seminar) organised by the Anadach Group. All you need is electricity, a computer and broad band Internet access. Okay…I realise that these are not easy to achieve in our beloved country – but we are famed for our resilience and innovation so we will find a way to attend.
It holds tomorrow, September 7th 2011, 6 – 7 Central Naija Time, 7 – 8 pm GMT, 2-3pm EST
Details below…. don’t miss it. if we do not engage our leaders directly on the issues dear to our heart, then we loose the right to moan to ourselves….
For questions pls go to the website of the organisers…..
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