By Jerome-Mario Utomi
This piece stemmed from an unusual occurrence/event which glaringly did more than anything else to support the claim by well-meaning Nigerians that a healthcare professional does not feel bound to seriously observe basic standards of care or are generally unwilling to accept responsibility for their failure to deliver expected quality services.
It was an extract of a mental account on Saturday, November 6, 2021, at Ketu Lagos, where/when my son Pascal Onyinyechukukwu Utomi (now late) suffered a health crisis. To assist the innocent boy arrest the troubling reality, we (myself, the mother/my wife and a very good neighbour), went to one of the private hospitals in the neighbourhood. The hospital gate was firmly locked and understandable as it was dead in the night.
To get the needed attention, I thus pleaded: please help! Help!! Help!!! Emergency! Emergency!! Emergency!!! Some minutes later, one of the hospital’s personnel walked but leisurely towards us. Without getting close to the gate or enquires what the situation was, he, to our astonishment initiated the following conversation;
It will cost you a certain amount to obtain the hospital card. I responded; no problem. He again fired; you need to pay another Naira as a deposit (this time around mentioning a bigger amount). Yet again, I responded, no problem. And the next statement he uttered was; can I have the money? Looking at the time, to meet this demand, I pleaded that he assists me with the hospital’s account number to make the transfer or better still allow me to pay with my ATM card/POS as I do not have much cash on me.
At this point, I received what met the criteria of unimaginable and unexpected response!
Let’s listen to him; we cannot accept transfer/POS at this time of the night. Besides, our Oga (boss) who will confirm the transaction alert/notification is not here and we don’t have the power to wake him from his sleep.
So, can I pay cash tomorrow morning, I queried? No, he responded. Then, what is the way forward? We cannot help, he declared.
With this concluding statement and without consideration to the dying innocent boy, he slowly left us in the cold to our fate and walked back to the main building where he firmly locked the door.
We were left with no other option than to move to another hospital where he finally got admitted but the experience/services were not too different from the first.
Indeed, while the above accounts typify one out of millions of unavailability of quality services, failure of oversight and the impunity of healthcare professionals in both private and public healthcare sector in Nigeria, using the right to health as thematic focal points, there are ingrained reasons that render such development as not just a crisis but paint the public and private health operators in the country as both inefficient and culprits of poor health care providers.
First, the questions that are as important as the piece itself are; what has happened to the strengthened accountability mechanisms relevant to healthcare delivery in Nigeria? How can the nation ensure greater responsibility and accountability of healthcare facilities and professionals in the country? Which one should come first when considering treatment of patents, monetary gain or burning desire to save lives? If it is a desire to save lives, why are medical operators in the country so insensitive to the plights of Nigerians? Why are governments at all levels in Nigeria reputed for poor funding of the health sector?
Have medical professionals in the country forgotten that maximum/quality services provided with efficiency and under the cost-effective arrangement are more profitable than abnormal or counterfeit services as currently witnessed by Nigerians?
Also troubling is the fact that our nation’s health institutions (both private and public) are still unmindful of the fact that serving the people is a serious responsibility and the people involved must abide by the code of conduct and strive to remain within certain limits. This goal should be achieved in an environment of positive and fair competition. They must provide Nigerians with the opportunity to access quality health services without falling prey to fake or any unlawful service or practices.
Talking about the right to health, it is worth mentioning that Nigeria voluntarily assumed obligations to respect, promote, protect and fulfil the right to health under major regional and international human rights instruments, including the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights.
As noted elsewhere, by the Revised National Policy on Health (2004), “health and access to quality and affordable healthcare is a human right”.
It declares further that “a high level of efficiency and accountability shall be maintained in the development and management of the national health system.”
In its declaration of commitment, the policy asserts that “the people of this nation have the right to participate individually and collectively in the planning and implementation of their healthcare . . . this is not only their right but also their solemn duty.”
So, why is it that these principles and values are yet to permeate the “development and management” of healthcare planning and delivery systems? It is a lamentable development that many healthcare professionals and institutions lack knowledge of the existence of the policy let alone the ideas, principles, targets and expectations that the policy embodies.
This is not the only concern about the nation’s health sector. There are others that are more government-specific in outlook.
Take, as an illustration, Nigerians are particularly not happy that the capital flight lost to medical tourism in one year by Nigerians is huge enough to build a world-class hospital in this country that can attend to these needs, create employment, bring back the array of Nigerian medical specialists littered the world over and bring foreign earnings to our nation’s coffers.
They are not happy that the same medical tourism which in 2017 alone kept our dear president away for about 150 days is left without anything dramatic done to redress or forestall such future occurrence.
And sadly, Nigerians will continue to ‘cry’ because they are tired of going through this state-sponsored human degradation.
It will, however, be of considerable significance to this discussion if the FG realizes that globally, there is no codified principle for lifting a nation from poverty to prosperity. All that is needed is for the FG to go the extra mile to accelerate economic development, social progress and get deeply committed to developing strategies that will guarantee the protection of lives and property of Nigerians while holding health workers (private and public) accountable for their professional misdeed.
Jerome-Mario Utomi, Programme Coordinator (Media and Public Policy), Social and Economic Justice Advocacy (SEJA), wrote from Lagos. He could be reached via email@example.com or 08032725374.
Sterling Bank, NHEA Honour Exceptional Healthcare Providers
By Aduragbemi Omiyale
Some healthcare providers who were exceptional during the COVID-19 pandemic have been honoured at the Nigeria Healthcare Excellence Awards (NHEA) with support from Sterling Bank Plc.
At the 8th annual event held in Lagos over the weekend, special recognition awards were given to Medbury Medical Services as the Most Responsive COVID-19 Testing Company of the Year and Seven-UP Bottling Company Plc as the Most Outstanding COVID-19 Consumables Manufacturer of the Year. Other recipients were the African Centre of Excellence for Genomics of Infectious Diseases (ACEGID), Redeemers University in Ede, Osun State as the Most Outstanding Genomics Laboratory of the Year and Nassarawa State as the Most Outstanding State for COVID-19 Vaccination.
Speaking on the occasion themed Innovative Healthcare Services in the Era of Change, the Group Head of Health Finance at Sterling Bank, Ms Ibironke Akinmade, explained that the bank recognised and honoured the champions of the COVID-19 pandemic because of the excellent services they rendered while the pandemic was raging in a bid to spur them to do more.
“Sterling Bank is committed to improving access to healthcare for every Nigerian and our flagship offering – digitisation of State Health Insurance Platform – prefers 360-degree solution to help states bring healthcare to every citizen as well as provide a wealth of data to inform policies, planning and strategy, at no initial investment,” she said.
The Divisional Head of Business Growth and Transaction Banking at Sterling Bank, Mr Obinna Ukachukwu, while speaking at the event, had observed that the lender recognised the role that NHEA is playing in the health sector by rewarding excellence and promoting positive outcomes in the sector.
He noted that Sterling Bank, a leading player in the financing of the health sector, decided to come on board to further support the excellence and growth of the sector.
On his part, the Minister of Health, Mr Ehanire Osagie, who was represented by the Managing Director of the Federal Medical Centre, Yaba, Lagos, Dr Adedamola Dada, commended the organisers of the awards and remarked that the purpose of recognising and rewarding healthcare professionals that contributed to efficient and quality healthcare services is to foster excellence and sustain the quality.
“Good healthcare delivery is a key objective of this present administration,” he declared.
Chairman of the Advisory Board of NHEA, Dr Anthony Omolola, while speaking said, “Over the years, NHEA has continued to strive to deliver new and creative ways to honour excellence across the healthcare space. This year’s is not different at all. At these awards, we are paying attention to those who pioneered innovative healthcare services in the era of change.”
NHEA Executive Secretary, Ms Vivian Alkali, expressed the confidence that with Sterling Bank’s partnership and support, subsequent editions of NHEA will meet with greater success.
NHEA is an initiative of Global Health Projects and Resources in collaboration with Anadach Group of the United States of America. It is a yearly event where individuals and organisations are recognised and celebrated for their exceptional contributions to the healthcare sector.
The initiative, through its eminent team’s research and innovation, has continued to encourage improvements and focus on the quality and standard of service provided by various stakeholders in the industry.
AfDB Establishes African Pharmaceutical Technology Foundation
By Adedapo Adesanya
The African Development Bank (AfDB) has approved the establishment of the African Pharmaceutical Technology Foundation.
The foundation is a new groundbreaking institution that will significantly enhance Africa’s access to the technologies that underpin the manufacture of medicines, vaccines, and other pharmaceutical products.
Rwanda will host the African Pharmaceutical Technology Foundation. A common benefits entity, the foundation will have its own governance and operational structures. It will promote and broker alliances between foreign and African pharmaceutical companies.
The African Pharmaceutical Technology Foundation will strengthen local pharmaceutical companies to engage in local production initiatives with systematic technology learning and technology upgrading at the plant level.
President of AfDB, Mr Akinwumi Adesina, described the initiative as “a great development for Africa. Africa must have a health defense system, which must include three major areas: revamping Africa’s pharmaceutical industry, building Africa’s vaccine manufacturing capacity, and building Africa’s quality healthcare infrastructure.”
During the African Union Summit in Addis Ababa in February 2022, the continent’s leaders called on the regional lender to facilitate the establishment of the African Pharmaceutical Technology Foundation.
Mr Adesina, who presented the case for the institution to the African Union said “Africa can no longer outsource the healthcare security of its 1.3 billion citizens to the benevolence of others.” With this bold initiative, the AfDB has made good on that commitment.
The decision is a major boost to the health prospects of a continent that has been battered for decades by the burden of several diseases and pandemics such as COVID-19, but with a very limited capacity to produce its own medicines and vaccines. Africa imports more than 70 per cent of all the medicines it needs, gulping $14 billion per year.
When fully established, the organisation will be staffed with world-class experts on pharmaceutical innovation and development, intellectual property rights, and health policy; acting as a transparent intermediator advancing and brokering the interests of the African pharmaceutical sector with global and other Southern pharmaceutical companies to share IP-protected technologies, know-how and patented processes.
“Even with the decision of the TRIPS Waiver at the World Trade Organization (WTO), millions are dying -and will most likely continue to die – from lack of vaccines and effective protection. The African Pharmaceutical Technology Foundation provides a practical solution and will help to tilt the access to proprietary technologies, knowledge, know-how and processes in favour of Africa,” Mr Adesina said.
On her part, the Director-General of the World Trade Organization, Mrs Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, said “The African Pharmaceutical Technology Foundation is innovative thinking and action by the African Development Bank. It provides part of the infrastructure needed to assure an emergent pharmaceutical industry in Africa.”
The Director-General of the World Health Organization, Dr Tedros Ghebreyesus, while also commenting, said, “Establishing the African Pharmaceutical Technology Foundation, by the African Development Bank, is a game changer on accelerating the access of African pharmaceutical companies to IP-protected technologies and know-how in Africa.”
Can You Use CBD Oil Hydrotherapy?
People are finding new ways to live healthier, happier lives by addressing the various aspects of their health that they feel need improvement. Cannabis is slowly becoming more mainstream, and more people are seeking ways to reap CBD oil’s benefits. This oil, which stands for cannabidiol, has been proven to bring relief from several health conditions, including anxiety, neuropathic pain, chronic pain, and seizures. With that in mind, it states that CBD oil could get used as an effective treatment for acne!
It can be used for topical applications, ingesting it orally as edibles or capsules, and even put on your skin. There are benefits to using CBD oil for specific purposes.
This article will take a closer look at CBD oil in UK and how its benefits can be experienced through hydrotherapy. As per the skin condition you are trying to treat, it might be best to try a topical application. If you want to consume CBD oil and use it as a dietary supplement, there are different ways you can do this. So, learn more about it here!
How Do You Use CBD Oil Hydrotherapy?
CBD oil hydrotherapy is a popular way to use CBD products. Hydrotherapy is using water to help treat a range of ailments. The most common uses include baths, douches, and enemas. The method works by increasing blood flow and circulation and helping to improve the symptoms of conditions such as anxiety, pain, and depression.
Hydrotherapy can be used independently or in combination with other treatments such as medication and therapy. You should speak with a doctor before starting hydrotherapy if you are pregnant or have any health concerns. There are different ways to use CBD oil hydrotherapy, including:
Hydrotherapy can be beneficial in various health conditions, and the application of CBD oil to the skin is no exception. This topical application involves using the oil directly on the skin and can get done in various ways. However, it’s important to note that CBD oil should only be applied topically as a lower concentration that would not affect the body. So, let’s look at them now:
CBD Oil is organic and has powerful healing properties. It works by penetrating the skin to reduce inflammation, ache, and increase circulation. You can put it directly on your skin or even on top of your skin for instant results. The active ingredient in CBD is cannabidiol (CBD), which has numerous health benefits such as reducing pain, reducing anxiety, improving mood disorders, and even cancer treatment. You might also mix it with other natural oils or creams for easier absorption through the skin. As long as it gets made with pure ingredients, there should be no problem using CBD oil topically or orally.
2. Using CBD As A Lip Balm And Moisturizer
This herb functions as a moisturizer, which is excellent for preventing skin issues. It also has multiple benefits, such as anti-aging properties, and dermatologists even use it to keep skin hydrated during laser treatments. You can use it as a topical lotion or lip balm. You can also use it for external applications such as massages and hydrotherapy treatments. The CBD oil interacts with the body by mimicking its endocannabinoids (natural cannabinoids found in cannabis) and some natural cannabinoids found in the human body. These endocannabinoids regulate pain, and our immune system, manage mood and prevent seizures and other neurological disorders.
Ingesting It Orally
CBD oil comes in different types and treats a wide range of conditions and hydrotherapy. There are two main ways CBD oil is taken orally: as an oil and as a tincture. You can take it by placing a drop under the tongue, while the medicine can get swallowed. There are also other ways to use it. Let’s check them out:
1. As Edibles By Mixing It In Juices, Gummies, Tea
CBD oil can get ingested orally to ingest it through mixing it in juices, gummies, and tea for hydrotherapy. There are several ways to prepare CBD oils:
You can make a CBD syrup by mixing the oil with an appropriate amount of purified water and powder; You can add the oil directly to your favorite smoothie to create delicious treats. You may also use capsules or food items that do not require heat (such as yogurt) to administer it; Finally, you can inject the oil directly into your body. These methods require significant preparation or expertise to get the most out of them.
2. Consuming It As Tinctures, Capsules
You can also consume this herb orally and in powdered form by chewing on the capsule or eating a small amount of oil in each meal and through the widespread use of tinctures, dissolving CBD oil into the water. It acts as a natural anti-inflammatory and pain reliever when you ingest CBD oil orally. It also serves to stimulate the receptors in the brain that block pain. The cannabinoids found in CBD have helped reduce inflammation, relieve pain, and fight off infection, among other things.
Is CBD Oil Safe To Use For Hydrotherapy?
If you’re considering using this CBD for hydrotherapy, it’s essential to do your research first. Here are some things you should know:
- It is essential to be aware that CBD oil is not legal in all states. Therefore, people using this oil for hydrotherapy should check the state laws in their area before using it.
- You should ensure that you have a consultation with a health professional. It is because CBD oil can interact with other medications that you are taking. So, inform your health care provider about any other medical conditions.
- Some potential side effects of this oil include drowsiness, dizziness, confusion, and even seizures. If you’re using it for hydrotherapy, talk to your doctor about any risks before starting treatment.
While some research needs to get conducted to determine the full range of benefits and risks associated with using CBD oil hydrotherapy, it seems clear that this type of treatment can offer tremendous relief for a wide variety of medical conditions. And also, when used in the right way, CBD oil can be an incredibly effective treatment for a variety of health concerns.
If you consider using CBD oil hydrotherapy as an alternative treatment for you or a loved one, we motivate you to do your research first. As with anything else, always consult with a healthcare professional before starting any treatments. It will help you ensure that they are safe and appropriate for your circumstances.
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