2024: Nigerians Call For Improved Healthcare System To Prioritise Accessibility, Affordability

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Friendly smiling young doctor supporting older patient during visit
Friendly smiling young doctor supporting older patient during visit.

Nigerians have called on the Federal Government to tackle out-of-pocket expenditures and enhance the healthcare system, emphasizing the need for improved accessibility, affordability, and quality services.

They are increasingly vocal about the need for well-equipped health facilities, trained healthcare professionals, and a robust health insurance system to ensure that every citizen has access to adequate medical care.

They conveyed this message during a distinct interview with Science Nigeria today, January 1, 2024, in Abuja, marking the arrival of the New Year.

Science Nigeria reports that in the country, the demand for an improved healthcare system that prioritises accessibility, affordability, and quality services has become a pressing issue. 

One of the key concerns raised by Mrs Stella Luka, 42 years, a teacher, said there was the need for improved healthcare accessibility. 

Luka said that many communities, especially in rural areas, lack access to basic healthcare services. 

“This has led to a disproportionate burden on urban health facilities, resulting in overcrowding and longer wait times,” she said. 

She, however, called on the government to invest in expanding healthcare infrastructure and bringing medical services closer to underserved communities.

Affordability is another critical aspect that Mrs. Adama Sule, a civil servant battling asthma for over 13 years, wanted the government to address. 

Sule said that the high cost of medical services and medications often deter individuals from seeking necessary healthcare. 

“Many Nigerians struggle to afford even basic healthcare, let alone more specialised treatments.,” she said. 

She argued that the government should take steps to make healthcare more affordable, including reducing the cost of medical procedures and medications in 2024. 

Furthermore, Mr Possible Chinedu, a clergy emphasised the importance of well-trained healthcare professionals. 

“A shortage of skilled doctors, nurses, and other healthcare professionals has been a persistent issue in the country,” he said. 

Chinedu believed that investing in the training and retention of healthcare workers was crucial for providing quality care to the population.

Disease prevention is also a top priority for Mr Issac Nosa, an Entrepreneur, Nosa said that with a high burden of infectious diseases, such as malaria, tuberculosis, and HIV/AIDS, there was a need for effective disease control measures in the country in 2024. 

Nosa called for increased investment in preventive healthcare, including vaccination campaigns, public health education, and improved sanitation practices.

Maternal and child health is another area of concern, Mrs Tabitha Marcus, a retired Nurse, stressed that the country has one of the highest maternal and child mortality rates in the world. 

Marcus stressed the need for improved access to prenatal and postnatal care, skilled birth attendants, and emergency obstetric services. 

She argued that investing in maternal and child health would not only save lives but also contribute to the overall development of the country in 2024.

In addition to these key considerations, Mrs Mercy Adejo, Founder, of Women Strengthening Women in Nigeria, also highlighted the importance of community engagement, health awareness campaigns, and mental health support. 

Adejo believed that involving communities in decision-making processes, raising awareness about health issues, and addressing mental health concerns would contribute to a comprehensive and responsive healthcare system in the country.

To address these challenges, Dr. Solomon Chollom, a virologist and a Public Health expert urged the government to prioritise healthcare in its policy agenda. 

Chollom emphasised the need for increased funding, strategic planning, and the deployment of advanced medical technologies in the country in 2024. 

“By addressing these issues, the country can work towards achieving a healthcare system that meets the needs of its citizens and promotes the overall well-being of the nation,” he said. 

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