Home Op-Ed The Equalizing Impact of Coronavirus In Nigeria

The Equalizing Impact of Coronavirus In Nigeria

The worldwide effects of the coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19) have exposed our porous and neglected health care system in Nigeria.
Through the years of our cyclical bad governance,  the few functional and moderately equipped health centers that we inherited from the colonial powers have deteriorated or gone into extinction.
The privileged rich and affluent have always had the choice of using privately owned medical facilities or traveling overseas for as little as routine medical check-up-at a very high-priced rate, which is not within the reach of an average citizen.
Due to the international travel bans to control the spread of the mysterious coronavirus, there is an apparent siege, whereby the so-called affluent and the downtrodden are trapped in the same hole.
Many of our hospitals that have been neglected over the years by successive governments are now providing succor for all and sundry. The national hospital in Abuja which was billed to be a state of the art facility-but has been grossly mismanaged, is now a safe haven for our leaders who neglected it. It sounds comical indeed, and very comparable to the biblical proverb about, “The stone that the builder rejected, being the cornerstone.”
And there should not be anything comical about saving human lives, but that goes to show the level of degeneration in our governance. where due to our selfish interests, we have become victims of our handwork.
In all, this should be a wake-up call for our leaders to forge a national-level strategic plan for addressing this social issue. As this challenging time has proven, no one is immune from mortality, both the rich and the poor.


At this critical juncture of emergent nature, our government must begin the promulgation of policies towards a sustainable Healthcare delivery system.


There have been many neglected ideas from local and international experts, including the World Health Organization (WHO) on ways of reforming our Healthcare System.  It is paramount for our government to allow seasoned professionals a freehand in revamping our dwindling Healthcare System.
From my layman’s perspective, I believe that there is an urgent need to:


●Begin modification of our existing infrastructure and construction of new ones to accommodate our ever-growing population.

●These infrastructures also need to be equipped with modern technological equipment, other than our usual reliance on those donated by charities.

●Procurement of drugs by licensed pharmaceutical companies should be regulated to avoid cases of substandard drugs permeating our borders.

●The apparent brain drain of our medical professionals who are respected worldwide can be curbed by creating an equitable salary and reward system, where their talent and service to humanity is appreciated.

This will definitely deter our medical doctors and nurses from migrating to other countries in search of greener pastures.

●The system should also have a realistic medical coverage system to accommodate the poor masses who remain the most vulnerable in a society where they have no financial muscle or a functional welfare system.

●And more importantly, there is a need for proper checks and balance system to ensure that the funds allocated for these ventures are not derailed; because as it is always the case with Nigeria- there is always an awaiting vulture ready to scavenge on our commonwealth.

If this becomes the singular accomplishment by any government in our quadrennial political cycle, it will go down in history as a significant mark of good leadership and achievement.

Coronavirus In Nigeria
Coronavirus In Nigeria

Ike Agbatekwe

Editor @ Large
Life and Times-News
Los Angeles, California

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