Estimated reading time: 10 minute(s)
Nigerians have been called upon to make their health a major priority by paying more attention to their sleep pattern, water intake, diet, exercise, weight, and alcohol intake.
A Public Health Physician, Dr Tola Yesufa said this in Abeokuta, the Ogun State Capital when asked about the needed health resolutions as Nigerians ease into the new year.
Dr Yesufa added that regular checking of one’s figures, at least once in six months, should be taken seriously. The check, according to him, should include but not be limited to blood pressure, blood sugar level and weight.
“Depending on your gender and age, get screened as and when due for the prevalent disease conditions e.g, breast and cervical cancers for women, prostate cancer for men. Schedule a routine, say yearly, medical checkup with your health provider”, he said.
On the level of Nigerians’ health awareness in the past year, the Public Health Physician said, “to objectively answer this, scientific research will have to be conducted in this regard, results of which will then be compared to previous findings.
“It’s difficult to ascertain, considering the demographics of the Nigerian people; with different socio-cultural beliefs and practices which is evident in their attitude towards health issues.
“But by and large, one can subjectively say there’s been an increase in health awareness on a general scale.
“Factors that contributed to this should be the COVID-19 pandemic, the different health programs of the government, the internet and other public media.”
He noted that with the improved health awareness amongst the populace, there are still some health errors or misconceptions that have been happening over time, adding that these errors vary due to poverty, sociocultural belief and level of exposure.
“Health errors in Nigeria vary, while some are due to lack of knowledge, others are socio-culturally related, some can be said to be poverty-oriented, and some are inherent in health service delivery.
” In no particular order, common health errors in Nigeria are poor health-seeking behaviour, self-medication, delays in seeking health care for whatever reason(s), engaging in self-diagnosis and treatment, non-compliance to treatment/drug prescriptions, and use of unregulated alternative medical therapies”, he said.
Dr Yesufa also mentioned that the country is also battling the menace of prescription errors on the side of the provider, misdiagnosis, lack of follow-up or short/medium/long term line of management, and inadequate health personnel, which makes them few available probe to errors and lack of or inadequate diagnostic equipment.
When asked if the errors are due to a trust deficit between the people and health providers, he said this can only account for a tiny percentage of the aforementioned errors.
He urged health providers to do more in their service delivery to ensure a healthy nation and called on the government to make available state-of-the-art equipment in public health facilities.
“This may only account for a minute fraction of the whole array of issues under focus. Trust deficit can play out in finance(money paid for service rendered), perceived competence of the health provider, quality of investigations and medications, etc.
“Nonetheless, health providers are admonished to do all within their reach to ensure good provider-client relationships and satisfaction. Other approaches will also need to be explored viz health insurance, recruitment of competent health personnel into our public and private health institutions, making available quality drugs and diagnostic equipment, amongst others.”
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