To talk about the Nigerian healthcare system is to come to terms with the most importance of our government’s incompetence. A negligent civil service means valuable funding for hospitals never gets to the institutions that need them, which leads to rising numbers of avoidable deaths. There is no justifiable reason why this isn’t a prioritized sector for elected officials who have asked to represent us.
At least it doesn’t look like any major changes have taken place. Not with the recent death of Moradeun; a victim of our deeply rooted negligence to the preciousness of human life. An inquiry into the events leading up to her death would reveal already known social problems and the ways we have normalized them.
Stabbed and robbed on her way home from work, 28-year old Moradeun Balogun died after she was allegedly denied treatment by a Lagos hospital for not having a police statement. While the hospital released a statement refuting that allegation -which is on shaky ground as the fiance of the deceased maintains that the hospital requested for a police statement- a host of things come to play when considering how she could have been saved. Poor response to health emergencies, the fact that hospitals still abide by repealed laws, and needless to say our deplorably low-security level.
An interrogatory piece in BellaNaija trying to dissect this postulates that “Signing bills into law is not the problem of Nigeria, the major problem is following up to ensure that these laws are being strictly adhered to.” And following up with this it goes on to say “The only truth to all of these is that for anything that will be beneficial to Nigerians, there will always be a communication gap.”
Amidst the truth that these thoughts hold, and how it resonates strongly, there is also disappointment, at the fact that there is no safety net when it comes to healthcare in this country. Rich, poor, geographically well situated or otherwise, we have no security that our lives aren’t forfeit in the health emergency.
When will the government begin to care about its people? When will human life begin to be seen as priceless, important, worthy of protecting? When will the people’s social welfare begin to matter over laws that actively contribute to the degradation of human life?
It is sad that Moradeun, like many other unnamed, unreported victims of a country designed against the wellbeing of its people, remains the point of reference when calling for the quick and fastidious revamping of our health care system. Nobody else has to lose their life for these necessary changes to begin to happen.