Journalist, Fisayo Soyombo brings to light; terrible rot in Nigeria’s tertiary health facilities

It is becoming clearer by the day why the political class prefer to jet out to seek medical attention rather than make use of local healthcare facilities which they have left in a sorry state over the years.

Just recently, investigative journalist, Fisayo Soyombo who has been at the forefront of exposing the rot in various sectors of the economy, once again, made a shocking revelation about Nigeria’s public healthcare system.  

In an interview with TVC, Soyombo exposed how pregnant women, including newly delivered mothers, were asked to use sachet water to clean up due to water scarcity at the University College Hospital (UCH) Ibadan. 

He also shared his findings on his Twitter page, sparking different reactions among some Twitter users. But the Public Relations Officer of the University College Hospital (UCH), Ibadan denied his claims.

In a separate interview with TVC, Toye Akirinola, Head of Information Department and Public Relations Officer, University Teaching Hospital, debunked Soyombo’s claims when they sought to verify the facts.

According to the PRO “… the theatre has water running, the intensive care unit has water running, the labour ward and the gynaecology-ward; all of these places have water running in them. So it is not correct to say that water is not running in UCH.”

Mr. Akirinola added that the management of the 63-year-old hospital is currently working on the entire water system of the hospital; he also noted that some of the pipes need fixing. He, however, maintained that the hospital management has put measures in place to ensure that water is always available for patients’ use in the toilet facility.

Watch the video here:

But one Twitter user had this to say about the journalist’s findings.

Unfortunately, pregnant women, based on the journalist’s findings, now have to suppress the urge to urinate to avoid using a toilet without water. The situation does look ugly.

Despite Mr Akirinola’s claims that the hospital is not experiencing a water crisis, the fact remains that Nigeria’s public healthcare system is nothing to write home about because there is so much rot in the system that need to be fixed.

In addition to what is staring us in the face, findings from research also reveal the sorry state of Nigeria’s healthcare system. For instance, “the 2018 edition of the Healthcare Access Quality Index, HAQ, which measures personal healthcare quality and access in 195 countries and territories worldwide ranked Nigeria as the 187th out of 195 entities.”

“Also, the World Health Organisation, WHO’s, data on the life expectancy of newly-born babies given the constancy in death rate ranked Nigeria 178th out of 192, while life expectancy among Nigerians was 55 years, which is below the average among the more prominent countries in Africa such as Rwanda (68 years), South Africa (64.6 years), Egypt (70.5 years) and Kenya (66.7 years).”

“Life expectancy in Nigeria is below the overall African continental average of 62.5 years.” 

This should at least give us an idea of the terrible condition of the country’s healthcare sector. We do not need a soothsayer to know that the lack of access to quality healthcare is a major problem that needs to be urgently addressed. 

It is saddening that the hospital management would rather deny this fact than admit that the health sector is in dire need of reforms and get the public to join them in the clamour. What is the future of our healthcare sector if those who we expect to pressure the government to fix the rot in the system are doing nothing about it?

It is high time we all started speaking up to get things fixed in Nigeria. If we don’t fix our country ourselves, who will?

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