An Associate Professor of Political Science, Dr Aaron Ogundiwin, has called on the three tiers of government to place emphasis on preventive health and not curative, so as to overcome challenges in the country’s health sector.
Ogundiwin, who is the chairman, Governing Council of the Oyo State College of Health Science and Technology, Ibadan, Oyo State, made the appeal during a news conference held in the institution.
He said, “The health sector in Nigeria is suffering from challenges of planning priority and misplacement of priority. We place priority on curative medicine than preventive medicine. So, we need to place emphasis on preventive above curative medicine.”
Ogundiwin noted that the genesis of international health was based on curative health, adding that the World Health Organisation was not the first global response to health issues.
He explained that emphasis on international health began in 1920 and had to do with sanitary issues, and that the event led to the establishment of the college in 1933 before WHO was inaugurated in 1948.
“So, sanitary issues started international health around 1922, which led to the establishment of sanitary training institutions and training centre for sanitary inspectors. These were the first set of health workers globally. This led to the establishment of College of Health Technology, Yaba, Lagos, in 1922,” he added.
Ogundiwin said that government, however, did not place priority on preventive health, noting that it was one area that dominated the beginning of professional healthcare practices.
He said, “If you are able to lay emphasis on preventive medicine, there won’t be much need for curative medicine. When COVID-19 came, one of the non-pharmaceutical measures that evolved against the virus was sanitary ways of living to prevent the spread of the viral infection. Lassa fever is now on the increase, and it can be prevented by adhering to sanitary ways.
“So, if we are able to spend a lot on sanitation or preventive measures, we won’t be going to hospitals for curative measures. We can use masks, wash our hands, ensure physical distancing, which are preventive measures for COVID-19, instead of engaging in use of drugs. If we are able to focus on preventive health, the problem of health sector or response or whatever would not be there,” he said.
On efforts made to improve academic excellence at the Oyo State College of Health Science and Technology, the professor revealed that the institution received books worth 55,000 dollars from a non-governmental organisation based in the US.