I wonder if people really know that Health is their human right which in broken English, “you no suppose to sick, then come die because say you poor or you no fit get the treatment wey you need”. It is a collective effort to make the health system work in your community, it is not just the affairs of the government but every one of us and we have to push to make sure we leave no one behind.
I can be a bit biased about talking about the Niger Delta, but it is where my roots are. So, I ask these questions as we try to leave no one behind especially in the rural communities, is there a primary health centre that is working properly in your community? Does your community even have one?
Yes, we can play the blame game of our government not doing anything in our communities, but wait! We are part of the government, so it is your responsibility to see that health services are accessed without a heavy financial burden on you or the community. These services when provided- maternal health, child health, mental health, guidance on nutrition and physical activity and prevention of infectious diseases are what will keep us in good health from childhood to end of life.
You cannot be comfortable with a three hours boat ride with your pregnant wife to get antenatal care in another community, the risks are high enough already. You cannot be comfortable with an ill-equipped health centre in your community, these services are very important for everyone. You need to wake up and take ownership.
You do not have to start in a grandiose manner. Little efforts go a very long way. So as an individual that is passionate about your community, stop the madness of “Oga, I loyal” and tell your leaders that the people deserve quality health care. You sef reason am, “no be only Oga wife fit born for fine and better hospital na, your wife sef deserve am”. You can also talk with the local health worker like a midwife, nurse, doctor or community health worker to tell you about all the information and give the support you need to take care of your health and the health of your family.
For those who are health workers, I still believe the use of a local dialect in a community is a powerful tool to change the lives of people with quality health advice and care. Make yourself accessible to provide your skills and expertise, “I no say sometimes na money kill better thing, but your reward e big pass as you dey reason am”.
Leaving no one behind in healthcare doesn’t happen overnight but with collective baby steps, we can have an all-inclusive #HealthForAll.