The challenges surrounding the Nigerian health system are many and it’s time for the government to re-evaluate and take action to preserve the lives of the many Nigerians affected by the failed system. The stories of Adeyeye and Victoria we are featuring this week speaks volumes about the extent the Nigerian health system has failed Nigerians.
- Victoria K. Akai’s story
“On Saturday, 29th November 2008 my phone rang, and I learnt that my sisters Amina and Saadatu had been involved in an accident. Amina, who was not badly injured, told me that they were waiting for a doctor, Saadatu needed oxygen. She was in critical condition but the nurse kept saying there was no equipment and they needed the doctor. I learnt a lot from my sister’s situation. I learnt that the doctor on call normally stays at home and was called when there is an emergency. I also learnt that the hospital was established on the highway to attend to accident victims but was not well equipped although it was about 12 years old. The Doctor eventually came but his role was to inform us that we had lost my sister. This is a true life story! It happened to my sisters, it happened to me.”
- Adeyeye Yewande’s story
A year and a half ago, Adeyeye Yewande, a mother of one, lost her sister Bunmi at the age of 39. Bumni was trying to give birth to her second child. Yewande (26) is still grief-stricken at the loss of her elder sister and extremely angry with the health system that she feels let her down.
“Bunmi was pregnant but the hospital said she was going to need a Caesarean-section. She didn’t want that, plus it cost N150 000 (GBP400/US$533) and she couldn’t afford it.
She went to the local herbalists and they told her she would be able to give birth naturally if she drank their potions when she was due.
When the time came the herbalist saw that she was very weak and they couldn’t handle it, so she was rushed to hospital. She had been registered at the General Hospital but they were on strike so she couldn’t go there. When she got to a different hospital they said she was too ill and she was sent to another specialised hospital.
At that hospital they did a scan and found that the baby was dead already. They had to do an operation to remove the baby but she lost a lot of blood during the operation. They were rushing up and down looking for blood to give her a transfusion. But it was too late and we lost her, even after she got a pint of blood…it was too late.
The hospital said the baby had died in the morning, but it was already evening by the time she got to the second hospital. The hospital shouldn’t operate if they don’t have blood ready to give patients. If the family had money we could have saved her life.”
Adeyeye and Victoria’s stories are just two of the many other stories of how the health sector is failing Nigerians. We need to #MakeNaijaStronger! The government needs to increase its funding for the health sector as a matter of urgency!
Please add your voice to the thousands of Nigerians who are demanding better health investments from the government. Please dial *345# on the MTN network to add your voice or sign our petition.