4 Most Talked About Health Issues In 2018 First Quarter
In the first quarter of 2018, the reform needed in Nigeria’s health sector showed up again.
This sad state of the health sector recorded some highlights last year even in the clinic that the president uses in Abuja.
In the past three months, however, several issues became talk of the town, with one of them giving birth to a phrase "Science Students".
1. Drug Abuse
First on the list that gives concern to the Ministry of Health and even lawmakers is the issue of drug abuse.
In the north, several seizures were made in the first quarter of 2018, raising concerns over young Nigerians' access to opioid drugs like codeine and tramadol which young persons now dangerously abuse.
In Mubi, drugs were hidden in noddle’s cartons to avoid them being seized.
Recently, the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency seized 159 million tablets of Tramadol at the Apapa Port in Lagos which was to hit the market.
This issue is trickling down to even young Nigerians in secondary schools, who are abusing these substances.
2. Doctors Exodus
While the nation is trying to contain its socio-economic issues, a great one is upon us that portends grave danger for the health sector in the future.
Doctors are running out of the nation to countries where they will get better remuneration and unions overseeing their welfare.
The National Association of Residence Doctor, (NARD) had identified lack of equipment in the hospitals and poor remuneration for medical doctors as the reason for the brain-drain.
3. Malnutrition In Northeast
In the northern part of Nigeria, northeast to be precise, children with 'skin-over-bone' are common and very many of them are malnourished, according to the UNICEF.
The crisis in the region caused by Boko Haram has left children without nutritious food and this is a threat to the lives of thousands of children in the region.
UNICEF has called for humanitarian aid in form of nutritious food for children, pregnant and nursing mothers.
4. Lassa Fever
While much deaths have not been reported as a result of the above mentioned issues, this one appears to be riding on the back of dirty enviromnements, poor hygeine and poor health facilities.
Lassa Fever appears to be the commonest disease around now, with states in different parts of Nigeria recording deaths and outbreaks.
This year alone, Lassa Fever has killed over 110 people in Nigeria almost close to the number of deaths recorded as a result of herdsmen farmers crisis.
In February, Edo State recorded 521 suspected Lessa Fever cases while three deaths were also recorded in Benue in the same month.
Even Nigeria's capital city is not left out in the outbreak.
These issues and many more in the health sector requires that the government act fast to ensure that drug abuse is curtailed, that Boko Haram activities are brought to a halt and that policies are enforced to ensure that residential environments are free from rats.