Nigeria at the mercy of quacks

Many Nigerians; including this writer, embark on self medication because our health care delivery system is grossly inadequate and therefore not economically convenient. And since a generality of Nigerians are not covered by form of Health Insurance, water will always find its level with precarious alternative of Bush Doctors in neighborhood “chemists” and on commercial buses. Others parade markets and other public places some with loudspeakers hawking various concoctions.

The WHO considers 1 doctor per 1000 persons “insufficient” but in Nigeria it is 1 doctor per 4222 persons according to the National Population Commission.
I do not know which part of the moon Dr Chris Ngige lives on because according to him;

“We have more than enough doctors. You can quote me. We have surplus. If you have surplus, you export. There is nothing wrong in them travelling out. When they go abroad, they earn money and send them back home here.”

This was the Labour minister’s response that was broadcast by Channels TV on April 24, 2019 when he was queried about the mass exodus of medical professionals from Nigeria. Ngige’s position clearly contradicts that of his erstwhile colleague on the Federal Executive Council, former Health minister, Prof Isaac Adewole who had previously in May 2018 declared at a conference of the National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) that they were 88,692 registered doctors in Nigeria out which only 45,000 were practicing in Nigeria – the rest abroad. This simply means in reality there is about 1 doctor per 8000 persons in Nigeria. I nevertheless humbly stand to be corrected.

According to the register of General Medical Council there were 5250 Nigerian doctors practicing in UK as at 2017. However, in 2018 the number had risen to 6289. An increase of more than 1000 in just one year! Interestingly, that represents a third of a total of 3230 doctors graduated by the 32 medical faculties in Nigeria out of a total of 174 NUC approved universities in Nigeria.

Nigerian doctors and other medical professionals understandably flee abroad for more renumeration and better working conditions. Let us not talk about lack of patriotism because we all know how impossible it is to get admission to either read medicine or pharmacy in Nigeria.

The topic of conversation should be why is our nation not investing in medical education. For instance, in the North West geopolitical zone only ABU, BUK and Sokoto have the capacity to produce 120,100 and 100 doctors respectively based on the approved quota for 2018 by the Medical & Dental Council of Nigeria. In the entire North East only UniMaid has the quota to produce 150 doctors. The highest quota in Nigeria of 180 is allocated to University of Ibadan. The lowest of 50 is allocated to the 5 partially accredited medical schools that include that of Benue State University headed by my good friend Prof Linus Saalu. In overall context out of the 32 medical faculties in Nigeria only 8 are in the North out of which 6 are federal owned (Unijos, Unilorin, Unimaid, UDUS, ABU, BUK) then that of Benue state as earlier mentioned and the ECWA owned Bingham University, Karu in Nasarawa state.

How has the preponderance of political appointments to the North alleviated health care delivery for the Talakawa in Nigeria’s must densely population region that produces only 15 dental surgeons annually out of a national turnout of 175?
What is the way forward? But before answering let us look at the number of pharmacists of which the following report speaks volumes;

“The Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria (PSN) has expressed fear on the rising number of pharmacists who are emigrating from Nigeria to seek for a “better life abroad.”

Speaking with press men at the commencement ceremony of the Pharmacy Week 2019, Chairman of PSN, Oyo State chapter, Abiodun Ajibade, said: “Pharmacists population in Nigeria is very low, this is in spite of the great potentials for growth occasioned by continuous emigration of Pharmacists whom Nigeria has spent heavily to train as a result of poor practice environment.” According to Ajibade, “Out of less than 30,000 total population of practicing Pharmacists in Nigerian, over five thousand of them have gone outside the country.”

According to a post on Bloomberg.com entitled Trapped by Coronavirus, Nigerian Elite Faces Squalid Hospitals dated April 2, 2020 there are 180,709 registered nurses and 0.5% hospital beds per 1000 persons in Nigeria. But more disturbing than this is the report by Inspire Nurses Network Africa, an NGO, that “90 per cent of Nigerian Nurses lacked basic life support skills on emergency care.”

The way forward is obvious; the cost of running our democracy must be reduced starting with the National Assembly. As long as state governors and LG chair persons are not held accountable on “security votes” Nigerians will continue to be at the mercy of (Quacks) Bush Doctors!

Sex For Grades: The Known and Unknown

If you haven’t seen the recently viral BBC News Africa documentary ‘Sex for Grades’ then look it up before you continue reading:

Sex For Grades (Documentary)

THIS WRITE UP IS NOT A RESPONSE TO THE DOCUMENTARY, NEITHER IS IT AN IMPLIED QUERY. IT IS A GUIDED CONTRIBUTION TO THE LOUD PRETENTIOUS OVERTURES THAT FOLLOWED THE DOCUMENTARY’S RELEASE.

I’m going to make this write up as brief as possible, if that is possible for anyone documenting well over four decades of tertiary education life.

SO IF YOU ARE IN A RUSH, PLEASE SKIP ‘DISCLAIMER, & QUALIFICATION’. BUT YOU JUST MIGHT WANT TO READ THEM AGAIN AFTERWARDS.

IT IS YOUR PICK?

DISCLAIMER

I. IF YOU READ ABOUT ANYONE THAT REMOTELY RESEMBLES ANYONE YOU SUSPECT, DON’T BURST YOUR BALLS, IT’S THEM.

II. IF YOU DON’T WANT TO GET INSANELY ANNOYED, PUSH OFF.

III. IF YOU DON’T HAVE AN OBJECTIVE MIND & YOU WISH TO CRITICIZE WITH PREJUDICE, BRING IT ON.

IV. LASTLY, THE LECTURERS ALREADY CAUGHT & EXPOSED, PLEASE DON’T BOTHER READING THIS BECAUSE YOU’RE DESERVEDLY IN THE ABYSS OF SOCIAL MEDIA ENDLESSLY RETRIEVEBLE HISTORY.

I DON’T WANT YOU THINKING; “Why didn’t this fool put this up before now?” Then running off to kill yourself. ALL LIFE MATTER & GOD LOVES EVEN YOU TOO.

Just, maybe only HE might still love you now.

QUALIFICATION

Am I qualified to write about this?

You tell me?

I have; A combination of Thirteen years lecturing in six tertiary institutions in Northen Nigeria (mainly on part time basis), presently a senior Educational Administrator in a Health based tertiary institution.

I have; A cumulative period of just under twenty five years as a student at seven different Nigerian tertiary institutions studying programs leading to the award of Certificates, Ordinary/Higher/Post graduate Diplomas, Masters Degree. All these inclusive of those dropped, abandoned, completed & yet to be complete.

I have; Separately, Thirty seven plus years of visiting, living with and having endless discussions with very close lecturer friends, hanging around with, partying alongside, holidaying with, as my lecturers or my close friends or housemates or colleagues or relatives or in-laws. All of them with various levels of experience in the most diverse disciplines & professional callings.

I have; All my Fifty years of life time (thus far) lived in a family that lives & breathes tertiary education, with (as at the last count) all together; one of the oldest (still actively living) Professors in Northern Nigeria, Six times full tenure University Vice Chancellor (both within & out side Nigeria) Three PhDs, I don’t really know how many Masters degrees, we don’t have time & space here to list the number of first degrees & various assorted levels of diplomas & I haven’t the faintest idea how many undergraduates are still studying within & outside Nigeria. Most of whom I interact with continuiously.

Bottom line: I have lived, talked & walked Nigerian tertiary education all my literate life. To a large extend I know & have been part of the workings of Nigerian tertiary institutions for most of my life. And everybody knows that the core part of the tertiary education experience is the relationship between lecturers & all their many students; the young & old, the stupid & smart, the Good, the Bad & the Cute.

EXPERIENCE

After the roll of CV, I’ll limited this section to my experience with the opposite sex. (I apologize to the LGBT community because most folks don’t realize that when we say ‘oppposite sex’, we exclude other…. Hmmmmm, other sexes?)

So, by now you’ve worked out I am a Straight Male, about five decades old, considerably educated & someone who has been ‘all over the place’. And I mean ‘All Over The Place’. Don’t worry, you will work out what the expression means by the time you’re done with this section.

I have no romantic story of worth to tell from my secondary school days (Primary school was more eventful) But credit to me, I had put that woeful romantic experience to good use & scored a resounding distinction for unending effort. This experience taught me to talk my way out of every situation conceivable and as I ended my teen age, I perfected how to talk and endear my way into almost every cooperative female heart and in most instances, all the way beyond the depts of the female heart.

My romantic experience at the various tertiary institutions I was a student in was to say the least hyperactive & swinging. I will summarize it with this quote;

“THERE WERE NINE GIRLS IN MY PROGRAM CLASS AT ONE TIME AND I HAD THE SHAMEFUL RECORD OF SEPERATELY BEING ROMANTIC INVOLVED WITH ALL BUT ONE OF THEM IN ONE CALENDAR YEAR.”

I was more than just romantic with most of them. The level of coy & maneuvering that went into that feat was quite advanced and would make many war-time Generals envious. The single girl that got away escaped for two main reasons;

(1) I had saved her for last because she was always going to be the toughest nut to crack. The plan was to become ‘born again’ and join her church at the end.

(2) I ran out of time. The plan had worked out smoothly, we had become all brotherly and sisterly, started holding hands to and from places when time ran out.

THE RUB

I wasn’t your typical good looking lad, I was as black as soot & taller than a door. But I knew my positives and flaunted them.

I was a jock, played Basketball & football in the school teams, I was quite smart too. I solved calculus problems & explained complicated lecture notes, even those not of my immediate area of study.

I wasnt just at every party & live shows there was, I organized most parties and live shows.

I had my fill of the campus life. I was lord over the social life & called the shots. I was mindful that lots of my classmates & buddies in those days on campus couldn’t join in the rolling fun. They just didn’t measure up to the expectations of the girls back then. These were mainly the really smart ones. The Nerds, as Americans call them.

They either didn’t have the time, didn’t make the time, didn’t put in the effort, were shy, got discouraged or simply weren’t bothered for the social campus life way back then.

LET’S CONCLUDE

Here it comes:

Of the so many of the lecturers I have come across in my ‘Thirty seven plus years of visiting, living with and having endless discussions with very close lecturer friends, hanging around with, partying alongside, holidaying with, as my lecturers or my close friends or house mates or colleagues or relatives or in-law”, a whooping 75% of them were nerds. They said so or I know so.

Do my math too;

Off all the clear cut Nerds I went to school with, all those I can remember or kept in touch with or met again many years later or followed their progression through life, all but three are lecturers now. Two of the three are dead & the one, I last heard was walking the streets in Benin (South central Nigeria) picking up trash & mouthing nonsense, mad as a tornado.

Make up your own conclusions:

Of all these so many nerds I knew and related with, that all became lecturers, a resounding 90% have either had some kind of sexual related incident with a female student or have indicated the tendency to indulge in illicit romantic dealings with female students.

This will blow your away;

I watched the Sex for Grades documentary and there on the screen was one of the nerds in the stats offered above.

I’m not surprised I know one of them & if you’re still asking why, then start reading from the top again

© Yas Niger

Kaduna, Nigeria

October 2019

Future related reading & possible documentary subjects:

I. Whoring for Grades

II. Nigerain Culture of favour for favour

III. Qualities of a lecturer

CC

Kiki Mordi @kikimordi

BBC News Africa @BBCAfrica

#SexForGrades #BBCAfricaEye