In the heart of Africa’s most populous nation, Nigeria, there is a distressing tale of anguish unfolding within the confines of government-owned hospitals. This heart-wrenching narrative revolves around the countless lives that are forever altered, and dreams shattered daily due to the unfortunate errors and negligence of our medical practitioners. Regrettably, Nigerian society appears to be either powerless or too apprehensive to confront the government and demand the necessary reforms to address the dismal state of our healthcare system.
The anguish of having a child in dire need of specialized medical attention exacts a toll not only on one’s emotions but also on one’s financial resources. It is nothing short of tragic to discover that many government hospitals lack even the most basic medical equipment, such as a functioning photo-therapy machine. In a nation blessed with abundant resources, it is disheartening to witness the pervasive failure of governance, which has left our healthcare system far below acceptable standards.
In the process of neglecting their professional obligations, many medical personnel inadvertently or directly contribute to life-altering complications for countless children. These errors and oversights go unaddressed, with the very practitioners responsible for these unfortunate incidents continuing to practice within the same hospitals. This status quo is not only ethically indefensible but also fundamentally flawed.
Parents of children affected by these avoidable medical mishaps must shoulder the overwhelming burden of care, a task that is both emotionally and financially taxing. While some families with sufficient resources may manage the demands of caring for a special-needs child, underprivileged families often find themselves forced to make agonizing decisions due to financial constraints and exhaustion.
A chilling example can be found in Kano State, where an alarming statistic reveals that four out of five children born with severe jaundice requiring an Exchange Blood Transfusion (EBT) or photo-therapy treatment end up with irreparable brain damage. This alarming rate of avoidable harm is primarily attributed to the absence of essential medical equipment and resources.
This is not an attempt to threaten or blackmail any government hospital; it is a heartfelt plea to the government to take immediate action. Policies and strategies must be formulated and implemented to reduce the mortality rate among children and address the numerous challenges faced by our people in government hospitals.
The very people to whom politicians turn to garner support during elections are the ones who need assistance the most. To build a functional healthcare system, we must work with the demographic data at our disposal. Hospitals maintain records that can reveal how many births occur monthly and the average number of children born with special needs.
To our medical professionals, the oath you took before embarking on this noble journey should serve as your unwavering guide. We implore you to reach out to the government to express your needs, and if these pleas fall on deaf ears, utilize the power of the media to amplify your concerns. By doing so, you leave the government with no option but to prioritize the overhaul of our healthcare system.
In closing, we pray for the well-being of every Nigerian family and for strength to be granted to the parents of affected children. May divine providence guide us toward a future where every child born in Nigeria is afforded the opportunity for a healthy life, unburdened by preventable medical mishaps.