When we recently called on you, our readers to send us your accounts of encounters with the health sector in our country, we were not quite sure what to expect. But the piece below took us completely by surprise. This beautifully written account of the primary health care system in Nigeria from the perspectives of government, private and corporate sponsors is an eye-opener to the challenges AND hopes of our health sector. Enjoy, send it round, and send in your own posts!
consultations on what to do with profits (if any). This was undoubtedly one of the most impressive standalone systems I’d come across thus far; an unassuming rural clinic which employs principles of sustainability found in any global social enterprise: maintaining a low cost base, stakeholder engagement, maximising efficiency, innovation and transparency.
I saw that innovations with alternative energy can help with some of our infrastructure dilemmas we face, and the pooling of risk (such as in private health insurance schemes) can significantly reduce or eliminate the issue of cost. However, without the judicious management of resources these efforts will be essentially fruitless. My hope is that anyone thinking about healthcare in Nigeria approaches it comprehensively, and thinks not only about preventing and treating illness but also about infrastructure (and its maintenance), creating community stakeholders, health promotion, consumer attitudes and the quality of the care being provided and how it can be safeguarded, as well as the management of people and resources.
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