In line with the current Meningitis outbreak in Nigeria, we the Guild of Medical Directors – a body of private medical facility owners. We do not need to overemphasise the role of the private sector generally in quality health care delivery in Nigeria.
We will all agree that the trending theme in the media, and indeed our homes is the meningitis scourge. If it’s not asking what exactly it is, it’s about vaccination or how many people have died from it, or even where it has occurred. Many have actually entered a panic mode.
It’s the scourge that is primarily our reason for being here with you today, to throw more light on the happenings, as well as how the private facilities can add value to the efforts being made. For many of us Nigerians, the private medical facility is the first, if not the trusted place that they go to when ill. They are thus many-a-time the first point of contact with patients with infectious diseases such as meningitis. We must, therefore, be at the forefront of addressing it.
If we can go down memory lane, and recall the Ebola crisis (one that we all claim success in), it was a private medical facility that deduced the source. The facility and its personnel stood out exemplarily, in a show of professionalism that is now recorded in history. It is in recognition of this that we not just seek for better reception in the advocacy and mitigation, but we indeed step up thereof. We not only assume of our commitment but that we are working with the public health officials to achieve success.
We wish to commend the effort thus far of the public health official of government as well as NGOs in advocacy of this scourge. We continue to offer our support. This is a time to highlight and to bring out the importance of the private sector in battling these conditions and being part of the management and public awareness.
The private sector is a very strong part of our health system, and this is a good time and a way to figure out how private and public sector can work together to battle the things that are ailing our nation. This will be one of the issues that will be addressed at our upcoming conference, and we will invite you all to join us as we develop a strategy and process of public-private engagement to which the well-being of the citizenry is the ultimate beneficiary.
Written By: Dr. Chito Nwana MD FACOG
Chairman, Guild of Medical Directors, FCT Chapter