Policy Briefs

News Track: Obaze tackles Obiano on healthcare delivery 

By Francis Ekpone
Former Secretary of Anam­bra State government, Mr. Oseloka Henry Obaze has attributed decay in states and local government health care services to non-conduct of local government elections in some states across the country.
“Right now, health care de­livery in Nigeria is in crisis at the national, state and local government level because our local government officials are not elected, we don’t have that intrusive interest in what is happening at the community health care” Obaze said during a brainstorming session organ­ised by Centre for Strategic Leadership and Youth Orienta­tion (CENSTLEYO) for Nigerian health professionals in Nnewi.

Declaring that government has an obligation to deliver af­fordable and accessible health­care to people, especially at the grassroots, Obaze laid aim into the poor state of health sys­tem in Anambra. He expressed sadness that a World Bank funded ‘Save-a-Million Lives’ programme is being used for political patronage in Anambra State while people who needs medicares are not being at­tended to despite them being sponsored by foreign donors.

“In Anambra State, no gen­eral hospital can or runs a 24-hours service, no functional toilets for staff, patients and pa­tient-relations in any of our gen­eral hospitals; waiting areas are dismally poor, no constant water supply in our hospitals; despite numerous boreholes, no alternative power supply in our hospitals and most not con­nected to national grid.

According to the former SSG, the decision of Anambra gov­ernment to build a Helipad at General Hospital Onitsha was wrong and the facility waste of public funds. “Where is the he­licopter coming from or going to?”, he queried.

He went further: “Recently, Anambra lost its hard-earned UNICEF award for state per­formance on immunisation though; all vaccines including the cold-chain are donor-fund­ed. Healthcare delivery is not a privilege but a right and gov­ernment must do that but in doing that, we must recognise that government must partner with the faith-based organisa­tions, the mission to be able to provide healthcare at the grassroots level. It will help government in policy formula­tion because policy is a two-way thing; you make a policy and get feedback.

Obaze who is a governorship aspirant on the platform of the PDP for the November 18 gu­bernatorial election, noted that community health workers in most states are not giving due attention needed for communi­ty mobilisation, health immuni­sation and nutrition and other primary health care services.

He attributed prevailing healthcare challenges in Ni­geria and Anambra State to limited funding, diminished professionalism, dearth of in­frastructure, poor policy focus and regulation and absence of critical partnership between the state, the churches and pri­vate investors.


Oseloka Obaze, MD & CEO

Oseloka Obaze, MD & CEO

Mr. Obaze is the former Secretary to the State Government of Anambra State, Nigeria from 2012 to 2015 - MD & CEO, Oseloka H. Obaze. Mr. Obaze also served as a former United Nations official, from 1991-2012, and as a former member of the Nigerian Diplomatic Service, from 1982-1991.

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