Kuni Tyessi, Abuja
A microbiologist and consultant in primary healthcare and immunisation systems, Dr. Benjamin Anyene, has revealed that 70 per cent of diseases in Nigeria can be dealt with at the primary healthcare level if necessary measures were put in place.
He said due to the lapses inherent in the system, Nigeria loses 1000 children who are below one week old, 157 women at childbirth and 2500 children under the age of five.
Anyene gave the statistics in Abuja when the Society for Telemedicine and eHealth in Nigeria (SFTeHIN) held its 10th Nigerian conference on telemedicine and health with the theme “Building eHealth Workforce Capacity to Build Capacity for e-Health in Nigeria.”
He said Nigeria was one of the fast growing countries on internet access and about 150 million Nigerians have GSM telephones. He charged organisers of the programme to ensure that e-health was for those who do not have health as a result of their social status and not for those who have it. Adding that for e-health to achieve results there should be good networking.
“70 per cent of diseases in Nigeria are at the PHC level. It stands to reason that if we can deal with certain percentages of the burden of those diseases, Nigeria will be doing very well in healthcare delivery. But unfortunately, that is not happening.
“1000 people die everyday and it is about eight plane loads of a medium-sized aeroplane. So that’s about eight plane loads crashing everyday and there’s no emergency declared because the people who are dying have no voice. People who are dying have no protection and they are just statistics in this country.”
“Nigeria should work towards ensuring that nobody dies for causes that are preventable. Out of the 2500 children that die everyday, 28 per cent could be saved if they were just given basic immunisation. But in this country of ours, people are still not getting basic immunisation. So the basic connectivity I’m trying to make is that what is being done here is very critical.”
The president of (SFTeHIN), Dr. Olajide Adebola in his speech, assured that the society will continue to promote the cause of telemedicine and e-health within public and private health institutions within Nigeria and other international institutions and organisations.