By Ese Awhotu
Health professionals drawn from varied specialties in the country met yesterday in Abuja to x-ray the healthcare delivery system in the country and proffer lasting solutions.
The experts converged at the All Things Medical Conference and Exposition 2018 held at the Shehu Musa Yar’adua Centre, Abuja.
The Theme of the conference put together by Media Trust Limited, publishers of Daily Trust newspaper in collaboration with Prompt Home Health and other partners is “Building a 21st Century Healthcare System in Nigeria”
Speaking at the event, the Chief Operating Officer of Daily Trust newspaper, Abhay Desa urged government and health institutions to make healthcare available to all.
He expressed Daily Trust commitment to making people know facilities and opportunities available in Nigeria.
This is even as he condemned medical tourism saying that, “I have been in this country in the last four years and I use the medical facilities here.”
Dr. Bello Abubakar, a consultant Clinical Gynecologist at the National Hospital, in his presentation advocated that all health treatments should take place Nigeria even as he called for improvements in the quality of healthcare delivery.
He disclosed that cancer is ravaging the country as 70 percent of the 102 cases of the disease reported annually die.
“Cancer is ravaging our country. We have 102 cases each year and 70 percent die of the disease within that first year. There are no facilities, no training programmes,” he lamented.
Abubakar, however, hoped that at the end of the conference which continues today, solutions will be preferred on cancer treatment.
A former health minister, Professor Mohammed Ali Pate who spoke on the topic, ”Improving Health Quality and Outcomes in Nigeria” described quality health as one that delivers quality outcomes and is trusted by the people.
According to him, one of the surest ways to improve on the nation’s health sector is to focus on improving quality health.
“We need to focus on improving quality health. Thousands of Nigerians go to India and Europe for medical tourism, these are evidence of poor health quality,” he said.
The ex-minister, however, expressed hope that the new quality strategy that is in place in the country would be implemented to address the health challenges.
Also speaking, Dr. Hope Uneja in his presentation,” Universal Health Coverage”, said that it was very encouraging that the media was at the forefront of the drug abuse talk, noting that drug abuse became popular through the media in the 1960s.
He disclosed that 280 million people internationally consume illegal drugs and 25 percent of them constitute the youth population.
Other experts who spoke at the conference including Dr. Ugey Ukeka,”Insuring the Informal Sector”, Jakes Epele” Addressing Inequalities in Access to Healthcare agreed on improving quality and access to healthcare in Nigeria.