A coalition of youths and student leaders in Nigeria is set to embark on a nationwide protest against the state of primary healthcare in the country.
According to a communiqué of the first meeting of the Nigerian Youth Union (NYU), National Youth Council of Nigeria (NYCN), National Association of Polytechnic Students (NAPS), National Association of Colleges of Education Students (NACES), Coalition of Northern Groups (CNG), National Association of University Students (NAUS), National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) Zone A, B, C which held on 28th January 2021, the state of the Nigerian health sector with an emphasis on accessibility to basic Healthcare for the masses was taken into perspective.
The communique which was signed by the leaders of the above-named groups reads: “It has been the subject of our scrupulous observation that hundreds of lives are lost every day in Nigeria, not because of incurable diseases but as a result of a poorly functional healthcare system to offer medical care to citizens especially the average or poor citizens who mostly dwell in rural areas.
The findings of our survey reveal that a vast number of local governments do not have standard primary Healthcare facilities. This has left the populace of such communities vulnerable to diseases with attendant high maternal and infant mortality rates.
We were perplexed and patriotically disenchanted by the records which show that the Federal Government had made provisions for the state of the art primary Healthcare centres to be built across the 774 local government areas through a well thought out public-private partnership contrary to the sordid episode being played out where basic health facilities are lacking in most of the local government areas.
Some State Governors who felt they should dictate what happens at the local government level have not been comfortable with the public-private partnership to provide basic Healthcare at the local/community level and indeed set out to scuttle plans thus the decadent state of rural health infrastructure.
At this moment of global health emergency of Covid-19 where the Government’s attention ought to be on making the Nigerian healthcare system work, we are saddened by the nonchalant attitude of the Nigerian Governors Forum who rather than prioritizing the healthcare system, are resisting the noble efforts to build primary health care centres in most of the states.
On the heels of these developments, we call on the government to ensure a total revamping of the existing healthcare system in the 774 Local Government Area in Nigeria.
We demand the immediate establishment of a new healthcare system that ensures basic Healthcare facilities are built in areas of deficiencies in the 774 Local Government Areas in line with the master-plan of the public-private partnership.
We call on the Association of Local Government of Nigeria (ALGON) as a matter of urgency, to mandate and mobilize her contractors in-charge of Primary Healthcare to get back to work.
We call on the Nigerian Governors Forum to refrain from resisting the efforts to build and equip more primary health care centres particularly in the face of the current spike in COVID 19 cases and other attendant mysterious ailments. Anything to the contrary will paint the Forum as anti-Masses and will be resisted by the Nigerian Youth, Students and Civil Society Groups.
It should be made emphatically clear that the Nigerian Youths and Students Leaders shall mobilize her members and Nigerians for a national Protest after 14days if no proactive action is taken to guarantee a better, accessible, and quality healthcare system for the greater percentage of Nigerians who are resident in rural communities.
Lastly, we charge the Nigerian Government to take heed of the recent counsel of the American businessman, Bill Gate who advised the Nigerian Government to consider fixing the poor health sector in the country rather than spending money on buying Covid-19 vaccines.”