stop The Fight For Supremacy: Ozumba Tells Nurses, Others

stop The Fight For Supremacy: Ozumba Tells Nurses, Others

An obstetrics and gynaecologist and vice-chancellor, University of Nigeria, Nsukka, Professor Benjamin Ozumba, has urged medical practitioners in the country to stop fighting for supremacy, saying the persistent supremacy crisis among nurses, doctors and technologist is one of the reasons for brain drain in the health sector in the country.

He gave the advice in Lagos on the sideline of the fifth international scientific conference organised recently by the Nigerian Institute of Medical Research Institute (NIMR), Yaba, Lagos, saying the perceived rivalry has got to a stage it could be described as national drama.

According to him, there shouldn’t be rivalry because each of these professionals has specific roles, defined by the public and not necessarily by the government.

Speaking on the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS), the don said the scheme as currently being exclusively operated the Federal Government wouldn’t achieve much unless it is taken to the grass roots.

According to him, a big and diversified country like Nigeria does not need one heath insurance scheme but multiple in form of community-based health insurance policy that will be initiated by end users who are people at the local and state government levels as the practice in the United States of America.

He also said major health challenges such as cancer need not be covered by the scheme because they are not as common as malaria, typhoid, running stomach and various communicable diseases that easily send many Nigerians to their untimely graves.

He said:“These are the diseases plus maternal health issues that should be properly articulated in the health insurance scheme at the grass roots level so as to stop losing particularly children and mothers to preventable diseases while government can provide for life-saving equipment for cancer treatment. Or is it not embarrassing to know that countries like Ethiopia and Rwanda with lesser economic potentialities have a better maternal and child healthcare system than Nigeria.”

Prof Ozumba who was the chairman of the occasion, noted that a lot still needs to be done to break on research in Africa and advocated promotion of local vaccines especially for viral infections as the practice in the early 70s according to him, saying it was doable if we get our priority right as a country.

On his part, the keynote speaker at the event and vice president for Research, South African Medical Research Council, Prof Jeffery Mphahlele, said African countries with no exemption would need to buckle up, especially in medical research to be able to achieve sustainable universal health coverage for their citizens.

Speaking on the theme, “Achieving universal health coverage: The role of research,” he said the continent was not investing enough in research and as such the wide gap between Africa and the developed world.

Providing a way forward, Prof Mphahlele urged each country to invest more on people-oriented research activities, personnel training, provision of life-saving medical equipment and facilities, strengthening of institutional capacity, production of young generation of health researchers and scientists and also to collaborate with others on areas of public importance.

Earlier, in his address of welcome, the Director-General of NIMR, Professor Babatunde Salako said the essence of the conference was to proffer workable solution concerning medical emergency preparedness in case of natural disasters and act of terrorism, as well how to curb the rising cases of substance abuse among youths in the country.

He, however, lamented the low number of Nigerians accessing comprehensive healthcare through the pre-paid health insurance structure, saying the five per cent was part of the reasons for the poor life expectancy experiencing in the country.

Updated: March 7, 2019 — 1:14 pm

The Author

Oluwatosin Kehinde

Born some decades ago, Odunayo is one of the Young but inspiring Nigerian Nurses making strategic waves in the 21st century Nursing profession. To many, Nursing is a calling, but to Nrs. Kethz as fondly called by friends, Nursing is by birth as he was born and bred in the family of Nurses. Growing up this way exposed him to the many challenges of Nurses at an early stage of life and he decided to change the narative by choosing Nursing as a career as against medicine his dad wanted him to study. During his early academic years, he was an active member of the press club, mentored by great writers and journalists before he later won the award of the "BEST NEWS CASTER OF THE YEAR". He's the Editor-in-chief, Nigerian Nursing Times, Nigerian first ever digital Nursing magazine which is also a publication of Fellow Nurses Africa. Oluwatosin Kehinde is a social media health influencer, motivational speaker, life coach, writer, author, Nurse-Journalist and Registered Nurse. As a blogger, he blogs at, he holds a bachelor's degree of Nursing science from the prestigious Ladoke Akintola University Of Techonology Ogbomosho , Oyo State , Nigeria. He's told his colleagues to address him simply as the FATHER OF MODERN NURSING severally but they wouldn't listen. He therefore settles for the Editor in chief/CEO Follow Nurses Africa.

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