Health : A Critical Determinant of National Development
The Walter-Harkness Health Plan, 1946-1956 in Nigeria identified Malaria as one the leading causes of morbidity and mortality in Nigeria. Even though that plan was truncated by the achievement of Self-Government by some parts of Nigeria in 1951, it is worrisome that some 70 years after, Malaria remains a leading cause of morbidity and mortality in all parts of Nigeria.
We have failed to consider the circumstances of our patients and those factors that make them repeat visits to health facilities for the same conditions over the years. If a mother brings the child to the health centre six times in a year for diarrhoeal disease, then we should reconsider our approach to the management of both mother and child or else we will soon lose that child to some complication of diarrhoeal disease.
Poverty exposes people to agents of disease and ensures that once they contact disease, it becomes difficult for them to survive the disease or the complications of the disease. Once disease sets in, individuals, families and communities are further impoverished. Conversely, disease exposes individuals, families and communities to poverty and ensures that they remain poor. We owe it a duty to our generation and those coming behind to begin to seriously apply those strategies that can effectively liberate our nation from the bondage of disease and poverty.
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