Posted April 10, 2009 from Nigeria

Health centers for women and children were established in Nigeria by the late Olikoye Ransome Kuti a former Minister of Health twenty years ago, the essence was to bring medical facilities to nearer to the masses. In my country, political leaders are more comfortable with traveling to developed countries for medical treatment therefore whether medical infrastructures are inadequate or not, is not our President’s headache, as long as Germany, Switzerland, America, Britain governments equip their own hospitals, we have the money, sea never dries, crude oil oozes in Nigeria, they can afford the bills.

Everybody is free to check the maternal and infant mortality rates of Nigerian, life expectancy is 46 and malaria kills more than the dreaded ADIS in Nigeria. To my fellow Nigerians, exposing us while the government is trying her best possible to rebrand Nigeria with billions of Naira that could have been utilized in rebranding our stomachs (so sorry about the woman involved, so intelligent Dora Akunyili)

On February 21, 2009 a 32 year old lady was delivered of a sextuplets, the woman was admitted to a teaching hospital three weeks before the delivery when the private hospital she earlier on registered with could not handle the case, two doctors attended her delivery but she died of internal bleeding barely 24 hours after the delivery because there was no endoscope to assist in detecting the internal bleeding. To say that is not enough, four of the babies died before a month after their delivery. The hospitals were aware that the woman was carrying sextuplets. We should all cast our mind back to the lady with multiple births in America, earlier on in the year.

When I listen to people uttering facts about happenings in Nigeria, especially the uneducated ones discussing matter arising, I begin to wonder, does it really means that even uneducated women are aware that our leaders have really disappointed Nigerians? Global statistics of asylum seekers released by United Nations for Commission for Refugees have shown that in 2008, more Nigerians applied for asylum, Nigeria was listed alongside Afghanistan, Zimbabwe, Somali, Eritrea, there are not less than 59,000 Nigerians without legal traveling documents, while more than 10,000 Nigerian migrants died between 1999-2002 while trying to cross Europe through north Africa, 1.469 Nigerians were serving various terms in UK prisons alone 15 in Libya, 6 in Afghanistan, 60 Nigerians were facing death for drug offences in Indonesia while 18 in Malaysia. The government is not particularly interested in their plights as long as the population is gradually decreasing by all means.

Despite the fact that there is no war in Nigeria but victims are recorded daily, If there are good news, who wants to write bad ones?, I am not a sadist but till the new Nigeria is achieved, when I can walk into a hospital and be treated of Malaria freely, when I will not have to leave my house by 5.00am in the wee hour of the morning in order to pick number for antenatal in our General hospital in Lagos, until when a toddler can be given paluta injection freely by a government whose president can afford to send every member of his family abroad for medical check up because he has lost hope in the medical personnel and facilities, whereas there are up to 5,000 Nigerian medical personnel overseas who ran away in search of greener pastures, till then will I stop exposing their evil acts.

Today it is about the health facilities, not the one for the rich but for those women who continually weep whenever they are leaving our hospitals, for those who resolved to go back home to die, for that woman who worked away at the Health centre in Lagos “she said if it was the will of God that my son should live, he will not die”, though there is nothing I can offer but continually voice my opinion, about leaders who can afford for all but decide to amass for themselves.

In my University days, about twelve years ago, the health center within the school was referred to as death centre so I do not even have any course to visit the school clinic until a day when my uncle called me that his wife went to the school health centre to complain about headache but she has not returned home after hours, he went there only to be told that the wife developed another sickness and died with few hours, that day, I understand fully why it was called death centre and I never visited the clinic again till last month.

I had runny stomach and was rushed to the health center in my locality, entering, I met up to hundred women who came for ante natal, though it is a very small building, all were cramped and we bough the card to see the doctor, waiting, eventually he came after hours, I was complaining when the lady beside me said, oh no the Doctor is just a volunteer within the community because the government could not provide one, he comes in three times in a week, I quickly kept quiet. The queue was another case but I was rushed in early enough, he examined me and placed me on a drip immediately he handed the prescription to my husband, “get these for her, he left and the Doctor said, after the drip you will have to run blood test to know what we are treating but you are too fragile to walk”.

In no time I was placed on a bed, the doctor came over and inquired about my husband, he came in at that time he came in with a nylon of drugs followed by a nurse carrying a cotton wool in a saucer followed him, my husband brought the prescription he bought and the doctor began to work, he said all the hospital could provide was the piece of cotton wool placed on this platter of gold, the plaster to hold the needle firm to my hand was bought by my husband, the health centre has no mentholated spirit to clean before injecting me, I had to buy that too.

After blood test, I was diagnosed to be suffering from malaria and typhoid, to buy palutha injection and some other drugs, the doctor advise that I should be fast because he will close by 4 pm, as I was leaving I saw a woman weeping profusely, she was carrying a child, I inquired what the problem was and she narrated how her neighbor encouraged her to come to the hospital because she knew already that Nigeria can never offer her son any free medication. I calmed her down, collected the doctor’s prescription and read, there is palutha too, I thought within me if I can donate to this woman one out of mine but when my husband came to even tell me that he could not afford the medication, except he withdrew money from his account, I was afraid, the drugs are expensive, two palutah is 10 USD, I know I will not be able to help the woman. Health centre could not provide Paracetamol for the child. In actual fact she said she boiled some local herbs for the child but it had no positive effect on the child. With no apparent solution from me, she walked away sobbing. I wept too, with my level of education; I could not afford to pay for her son’s medication and mine!

How many women and children have walked away into untimely graves disappointed in a government nominated/appointed by powers that be in a country where our votes do not count? Free basic health / Education were promised by past and present administrations but in reality all we experience is mirage. Rebranding is not for Nigeria. What is rebranding, showing beautiful graves where the carcass stinks within, a white washed sepulcher with content no one can stand the stench. Beautiful and colorful Nigeria on international screen but populated with 148million Nigerians where 140million individuals who cannot afford nutritious 2 square meals not three to request for three is asking for two much. If we are comfortable at home, our children will not be in jails in Afghanistan

Although, I am not a medical practitioner but I have delivered a baby in a government funded hospital where I had to buy even the gloves doctors used in taking delivery and paid for every night spent in the hospital. Nigeria is my motherland with no plan to run away but I will continually write about these hardships, until malaria treatment is indeed free for children, pregnant women can receive adequate free medical health care, stop the deception to the whole World that Nigeria is part of the countries working toward the achievement of the Millennium goals and until we all decide to take our destiny into our hands, enough is enough of nominated and plan less leaders imposed on us by past presidents and gullible individuals who are concerned with what they have and not how the have-nots can survive.

Comments 4

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  • Adebowale Adepoju
    Apr 14, 2009
    Apr 14, 2009

    Good work, good piece. I love your style of writting so much. Keep it up and do not relent as the strike of the match is igniting fire already.

    With 100% assurance, you have done clinical analysis of our health facilities, as I am very optimistic that if any one of them read this your write up, they ought to have a change of heart.

    There is no short cut to the truth. You have said it all. It is like the President of my great country Nigeria is being affected by your commentary as FOI bill is given a boast through his pronouncement that Ministers should not hoard information again. You are really hitting them too hard. It is my prayer a change come quickly.

    Thank you.

  • Olutosin
    Apr 14, 2009
    Apr 14, 2009

    Hope you guys are no longer afraid about my safety again? As rightly said, the road to freedom is sometimes tarred with blood, most times humans blood, my prayer is that there be remarkable change in Nigeria, we count the victims daily, though there is no war.

    Thanks to all for the support and encouragement, and I promise not to be deterred, they are the ones that will be tired of lies to the world whereas the world is watching, we will always move on with some behind watching and ready to take on from where we stop. Freedom of information has not stopped me from writing or talkingNobody can padlock the mouth and thatnk God we are still eating, breathing, and enjoing fresh air outside though no fan.

    Love all Pulsewire members.


  • Victoria Green
    Apr 14, 2009
    Apr 14, 2009

    Dear friend! It hurts so much to see who dominates the world and in what way they do it! Nobody cares even in my country for the votes as they prefer giving promises and playing poker. We are having a revolution, but nobody cares and nobody from state power or Organizations abroad are interested to get involved. And here to think- so many projects they funded in order to spread Democracy. And what? Nothing - things are not changed, and somebody is only laughing on the poor people's faith.

    Your country situations is even worse, and it is understandable what you are going through, and who else but you will share the truth. Don't be afraid! speak out!

    I know it is one of "their" tool is to bring fear into people... But this is too much... No medication, no care, people are sick, dying... And even you - I see a generous person cannot help, because you are in the same situation... I know how painful it is...

    The only refuge we have for now is make our voice heard, believe in a change, tell what we feel! Don't get desperate! We will be able to fight for this together!

    Best wishes and be strong!!! You can make it!

    With deep respect to what you wrote, Victoria

  • Olutosin
    Apr 14, 2009
    Apr 14, 2009

    Dear Vic,

    Thanks so much for those words of encouragement! The only poeple who are afraid are those around me, my siblings, mother and lately, my husband. I have never been afraid, the problem with Nigeria is the leaders, the nation is bedevil with past and present leader! Past are no longer there but their voices echo, farther than those of present leaders.

    The masses are the hard hit and when you talk too much, you may become missing or frustrated but now I say I am going crazy because all I see around me are those children in slum, hungry, they are the scavengers, in the country where our leaders are living in money, sleeping money, breathing money, oil money, they go on build private universities in their towns, our children cannot be admitted their and the only ones for the public, they have their own slots there, until they are through the brilliants children of the masses have no space, then they telll us that the graduates from Nigeria are unemployable!

    At the hospitals, it is worse, come and watch people dieing everyday, no war but victims and they continue to deceive the world that it is free health for all in Nigeria, still no single malaria drug for free, all that is free is the doctor if you ever see one! At the ante natal, you will have to come as early as 5 in the morning to pick your number in our general hospital, there is one in Lagos called Ayinke house, it is owned by the government, because it is a bit better that is because many doctor come there to gain experience and later on , relocate to developed country, paitent flood the hospital in hundreds and when you come in to see the pregnant women sleeping till day break to with their breakfast and lunch, then doctors may come in may be 2 or 3 to attend to more than 200 patients, the doctor become frustrated in the noon time and all they could diagnose will be the same for all. They are tired.

    Our leaders cannot enter our hospitals, the ones in Germany, Britain, America are wll equipped unlike our own ill equipped ones, but the best hospitals service with our money, bills paid by the leaders, posterity will never forgive them. They now leave the children to roam and steal, hunger became the trademark, my sister we will not be tired, deterred or fed up, we are the ones who can fight for our riht.

    I believe in revolution, when we alive what am I doing? bloody revolution, if not the children of the masses will still not allow their children to walt on the roads, the poor will kill the rich.

    Obasanjo, the immediate past president of Nigeria travelled to London last March, Nigerians in diaspora stoned him with water and eggs, he said he was not ashamed, they booed him, jeered at him, I f Mandela of South Africa or Clinton travels to another country their people will welcome them happily but here we all know what is happening, his late wife was so well fed tha t she travelled to Europe to burst her stomach and she died in the hospital, his first daughter also squandered money menat for Ministry of Health, he had nothing to say to that, Our leaders: past and present cannot walk on our streets, people will stone them to death, they move with armed men. They say I am poor that is why I am not happy with the leaders, if they are good will I be sad? Nay, they only think of their pockets, promises and more promises, we are not mad or crazy, we will fight, revolution in the streets, they do not want it to be well with us, it will not be well with them too, an hungry man is an angry man. W e deserve more than what they are giving us! We are blessed, they turn the table against us. Leaders callous leaders!

    Thanks my sister for the good work. May you remain strong, If I die today, Pulse Wire owes me a press release and my daughters will continue where I stopped, I have so many daughters, both biological and adopted, they are watching the acts. I love your work and the languages, more blessings to you and all members.

    Thanks again! but Sister we will fight this together.

    Warmest wishes,