SaveMayowa

Nigeria has come of age and it is time to start thinking beyond aid from western countries. We need to fortify our health systems and make them virile enough to withstand any “shocks”. We can’t continue to pride ourselves as an established nation without a strong health system.


Over and over and over and over again, the need for the strengthening of Nigeria’s healthcare systems is being exemplified. The most recent is the case of #SaveMayowa which trended on social media for weeks. I don’t want to be drawn into the controversies surrounding her case, but the fact that she had to seek medical services abroad by raising funds publicly is my main concern. How many more people will keep having to travel out of the country to seek medical services when we can easily fix our health system by investing more into it?

The truth is Nigeria is such a rich country that should have no business with a faltering health system. People just keep dropping dead like insects by the day and we pretend like “it’s a norm”. People die from “ordinary” ailments and we just shrug and say, “na so God want am”. That cannot be how God wants it. It is our making. We have everything at our disposal to help ourselves stay alive long but we just choose to speak more grammar than invest more in our health system.

It is time for our generation to change things. We are not asking for too much but for a functional and well-fortified health system. We are sick and tired of the old system whereby people have to die needlessly from preventable and treatable diseases; an old system in which people have to travel to India and other countries of the world to seek medical services. We can do it in Nigeria if we collectively invest more in the health sector, and also do the right thing.

One of the indices for longevity or a significant life span is the health system of a country. We need to invest more to save more lives and help aggregate the life span of Nigerians. The current life span of a Nigerian is pegged ridiculously at between 54 and 55 years. This has got to change.

Without a strong health system there’s isn’t much we can do. Only a healthy man or woman can speak plenty grammar. Our politics and grammar are hardly of good use. It is time to invest more in the health system, and help save more lives like those of other Mayowas locally!


Nigeria has come of age and it is time to start thinking beyond aid from western countries. We need to fortify our health systems and make them virile enough to withstand any “shocks”. We can’t continue to pride ourselves as an established nation without a strong health system.

Nigeria accounts for at least one in every five children who die globally every day. Nigeria also constitutes 10 percent of the world’s maternal and under-five mortality globally. A woman in Nigeria stands a staggering 165 percent chance of dying during childbirth than a woman in France. These staggering statistics and many more don’t give this generation any sense of pride. It only lends credence to how little our governments have invested in the health sector and how serious we as a country have taken the health service system.

The current allocation of less than 4.3 percent of the total national budget to health is a far cry from the targeted 15 percent agreed in 2001 by African leaders in Abuja. It is time to invest more in the health system to save more lives. We saw the drastic reduction in infant and maternal mortality and morbidity in Nigeria during the Subsidy Reinvestment and Empowerment Programme (SURE-P) MCH between 2012 and 2015. That shows how much we can achieve in the health sector if we invest more into it. Without a strong health system there’s isn’t much we can do. Only a healthy man or woman can speak plenty grammar. Our politics and grammar are hardly of good use. It is time to invest more in the health system, and help save more lives like those of other Mayowas locally!

Simeon Christian Chukwu wrote from Abuja.