Nigerian Hospitals Still Unprepared For Disease Outbreaks – Idris


Less than three years after the country survived the dreaded Ebola outbreak, a medical expert has hinted that Nigerian hospitals are still unprepared to effectively handle another disease outbreak

Speaking at the first inaugural lecture and dinner of the Global Infectious Diseases Initiative, held 7 July, 2017 at Oriental Hotel, Lekki, Lagos, Dr Jide Idris, Lagos State commissioner for health lamented the deplorable state of facilities in the health sector, saying there is still much work to be done.

Idris disclosed during the symposium tagged “Infectious Diseases: Awareness & Meditation Through Collaboration,” and held in partnership with College of Medicine, University of Lagos (UNILAG), that he got first-hand insight into the present deplorable state of equipment during a recent facility tour of hospitals in the country.

“With what I saw, I can say we are not fully prepared. Apparently, we have not learnt much from the outbreak of Ebola in this country. In most of these hospitals, patients come and go. No accurate medical record or proper record of drugs prescribed. We need to have a change of attitude to the way we work in this country,” he said.

In a related development, Prof. Folashade Ogunshola, UNILAG deputy vice chancellor (development services) declared that many health professionals in Nigeria need to embark on refresher courses or some other forms of retraining.

According to her, it is now common knowledge that when people don’t have malaria, typhoid is usually the next call of diagnosis on the health professional’s mind.

“But in truth, we often discover that most people who come to us with complaint of typhoid don’t usually have them. Every patient is deemed healthy until proven otherwise. What we know presently is that malaria is now low in urban centres and high in most rural areas. This is why massive awareness is needed in rural areas. There is a need to discuss with village heads, unions, revered elders and opinion leaders in communities,” she stressed.

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Other speakers at the event included Dr Regis Nadin, a Haitian-American emergency medicine physician; Dr Yoav Golan, a practitioner at Tufts Medical Centre, Boston, Massachusetts, United States; Dr Sola Sanusi, trained physician, Texas; Dr Buari Osman, nephrologist, Maryland, United States; and Dr Chira Udoka, public health physician, National Orthopaedic Hospital, Igbobi, Lagos.

On why the event was held in Nigeria, instead of the United States as it had been in the past, Udoka announced that it was a way of giving back to their homeland.

“The recent findings on diseases, such as malaria, Ebola, and meningitis, which Nigeria will benefit from, will help us to know what we are dealing with,” Udoka said.

The infectious diseases event was facilitated by Dr Folarin Olubowale, a member of the American Board of Internal Medicine and Infectious Diseases.