DISSATISFIED with the pitiable state of the nation's health sector which is apparently characterized by high disease burden, child and maternal mortality and lack of manpower, West Africa College of Physicians, Nigeria Chapter(WACP), has pledged to assist the government in the training of more physicians and specialists that will help address the problems and other emerging challenges in the sector.
National Chairman/College Vice President, Dr. Ifeoma Egbuonu while speaking at a courtesy call on the Lagos State Commissioner for Health ,Dr.Jide Idris at Alausa Ikeja on the occasion of the 35th Annual General Assembly and Scientific Meeting of the college held in Lagos, also blamed most of the problems confronting the health sector on poor funding by the government.
Commenting on the theme of the conference "Quality healthcare in a developing economy ;Opportunities and challenges: Improving child care in Nigeria " Dr. Egbuonu said that the choice of the theme of the conference was apt as it seeks to address the state of health services in Nigeria.
She remarked that why the problems in the nation's health sector appeared insurmountable ,was because the various governments have failed to do what was right and needed to tackle the challenge head-on especially in the area of funding and manpower development .
She pointed out that the thrust of the conference which was on maternal and child health, was to seek better ways of improving the country's poor health indices.
For the national chairman, the needed training and certification required to overcome some of these problems were available at the sub-region even at a very affordable cost, as Nigeria has over 3000 physician specialists in the college ,hence, the largest among member countries.
To put the health of the nation on the right pedestals, Dr. Egbuonu, urged governments to avail themselves of the services of these highly specialized doctors at various stages of health planning and execution for better services to the people.
Briefing the commissioner on the various activities of the college, she revealed that the major functions of the college which currently has six facilities include; training and certification of physicians in the different specialties, accreditation of suitable institutions in member countries for training of specialists, adding that the Annual General Assembly and Scientific Meeting was one of the unique traditions of the college.
Responding, Dr. Idris who had just been reappointed Commissioner for Health of Lagos State expressed sadness that the health sector in Nigeria was not where it should be.
According to him, the issue of quality and care has remained a major bane of the sector, lamenting that the whole of Lagos state has only 16 paediatricians even when it was obvious that childcare is of very great essence.
He called on the college to make its presence felt in the society by partnering with governments to address the daunting challenges beclouding the sector, which according him was necessary to help achieve the Millennium Development Goals, adding that the Lagos state government was ready to partner with the private sector and other relevant agencies as the government cannot do it all alone.