Every gambler knows:
You got to know when to hold
Know when to fold up
Know when to walk away and
Know when to run
R.I.P Kenny Rogers (1938 – 2020) legend, died at 81 years of age. Yes, we will all die someday, but some will leave a living legacy and some, a puff of smoke.
The Government Whisperer
This is a whisper into the ears of government and government officials including our dear esteemed politicians. We hope this is loud enough to hear and that it resounds between your ears.
Many people are currently dying in Europe, in pain, alone and unsung by family and friends. This is due to the Corona Virus ravaging nations all over the world. Especially, those countries who have not prepared! Unfortunately, our turn is coming and upon us.
In Europe and especially in Italy, the virus has claimed thousands of lives, of mostly elderly people. You see, Italy has a high number of elderly folk because the people have a good healthcare system and lead a happy long -life. The average life expectancy in Italy is 82 years as compared to 52 in Nigeria. Sadly, Nigeria has more money and more natural resources than Italy.
The money has not been used to develop our healthcare industry.
So, here we are in need of health. We have a pandemic to fight and we have both hands tied behind our backs! Many years ago, we heard that a portable ventilator was bought in anticipation that it would be used for a big shot. The person died before returning to Nigeria; so the ventilator was returned and someone pocketed the money. As if no one else would benefit from it!
In truth, when Governor Danbaba Suntai needed a portable ventilator after his head injury, there was none! The poor man may have had a better outcome from his injury, who knows? Right now, we have closed the hotels, shopping malls, plazas, mosques and churches with marble and golden decorations that the rich keep building. We need hospitals we have not built or supported. We need a well-staffed, well equipped healthcare system with an emergency number and an ambulance service that works.
We need all our Nigerian doctors and nurses including those forced to go abroad or become farmers. Perhaps we should ask our Former Minister of Health and The Minister of Labour and Employment: Where are thou? Will you come to the front-line to help us fight Covid-19?
Anyway, this is not the time to gamble.
Getting ready for battle
First, you need your best Generals and war veterans involved in the battle with this pandemic. Therefore, having a lawyer lead the effort with the Presidential Task Force is somehow. Where are our Epidemiologists and Infectious disease experts? Do we have any? Or are they all in Dubai and Saudi Arabia?
What about the Minister of Health? He should be in the trenches coordinating the resources and preparing all government hospitals and private establishments for the massive influx of loved ones, friends, families and neighbours that this virus will affect. We are not seeing much preparedness on the ground.
Good old America is running out of facemasks and personal protection equipment for its medical staff. Nigerian medical staffs are running away from patients in our hospitals. It is now on record that the lady who died in Enugu was sent away from one hospital and abandoned in another!
Who can blame the doctors and nurses? Dr Stella Adadevoh gave her life during the Ebola outbreak in Nigeria and we are still fighting for national recognition and recompense for her sacrifice.
If this virus takes hold in Nigeria!
If the statistics of what is happening elsewhere is our reality! Our mortuaries will not be able to cope with the expected number of deaths as blood runs all over the land. We are already playing chicken with the lives of Nigerians including of course, thank God, the lives of our esteemed ‘’politricians’’. Since, all borders are closing and there is nowhere to go, everyone will have to use our dilapidated healthcare facilities.
Your ‘ýansh’ is now exposed for all to witness!
What do we do now?
Private medical practitioners will be at the receiving end as politicians and the big boys go to these hospitals for care. They will be asking for good health in hospitals they have bankrupted with multiple taxes, customs hindrances and corrupt regulations.
Is the Minister of Health interested in partnership with the private sector? This is the time to ask for their help and assistance. This is the time to support all private healthcare facilities and empower them with the meagre materials and support system necessary to defeat this disease. This is the time to call on pharmaceutical companies in Nigeria and all over the world to come to our aid. This is the time to push the traders in Aba and Onitsha to show their creativity and expertise, in manufacturing and procurement.
We need all hands on deck.
Any doctor in Germany can test for the virus without cost to the patient or the doctor. In Nigeria, healthcare is out of pocket and patients or families pay. The government has not taken on the burden even though we pay taxes!
Please make Covid-19 healthcare costs free for Nigerians. The money earmarked for fighting this virus should not end up in your pockets. Otherwise, Boss Mustapha’s job and legacy will be wills and probate!
NB : Please kindly stay at home: to protect healthcare workers in our hospitals .
Featured image courtesy of Farabale.