Godwin Maduka: Making Anambra State the next Cuba – – Currently, the world is facing a health crisis that is unprecedented in the annals of history. It goes without saying that COVID-19 has increased human suffering, destabilized the global economy and upended the lives of billions of people around the globe. Even for developed countries with advanced health infrastructure, their system have been overwhelmed due to the novelty of the disease, the infectious rate and lack of critical infrastructure to tackle it.
Here in Nigeria, the disease laid bare the monumental inefficiency of the health sector, worsening the already bad situation. Before COVID 19 arrived in our shores, the Nigerian health indices were litanies of inadequate health infrastructure and poorly trained medical personnel and will continue to remain so if nothing is done quickly to address our failed healthcare system. Access to primary health centres and availability of drugs have almost become a luxury unavailable to many. People still die of forgotten diseases like malaria and common cold.
Anambra State’s health sector is not left out in this sorry state. The correlation between health and prosperity can never be over emphasized. A healthy population translates to a wealthy population. As the 2021 Anambra election draws close, a major issue that is dominating discussions is the health question. Good healthcare system is integral to development and prosperity of any country and that was why it was made part of the Sustainable Development Goals. It borders on life upon which every other human progress is built. Like our people say, Ndu bu isi.
With Dr Godwin Maduka, Anambra State has a shot at becoming the next CUBA. Cuba, a neighbour to the United States, has made medical tourism a major foreign exchange earner, with valuable soft power. According to the World Bank data published in 2015, the child mortality rate is at par with some of the world’s richest countries. With six deaths for every 1000 births, life expectancy is 79.1years. The primary healthcare system in Cuba is one of the most proactive in the world. In 1985, the country pioneered the first and only vaccine against Meningitis B. The country ‘s scientists developed new treatment for hepatitis B, diabetes foot, vitiligo and psoriasis. Cuba is the first country in the world to eliminate transmission of HIV and syphilis from mother to child. These results are possible because Cuba spends 10.5% of its GDP on health, higher than the global average. The Doctor- Patient ratio in Cuba is 67.2 Doctors for every 1000 inhabitants. In 2014, Cuban authorities announced that estimated overseas healthcare services would bring in $8.2b.
In times of global health pandemic, ndi Anambra need a person in the mould of Dr Godwin Maduka, himself an accomplished health expert and one of the very best in his field. Anambra needs a person who has shown capacity and an incredible track record in the medical field in the United States, competing with the very best and yet emerging tops in his specialty. Anambra needs someone who has shown initiative and love for his roots by making his people drink from the waters of best medical care through building of a hospital and a world class medical research center amidst other infrastructures.
Poor healthcare is a function of lack of political will on the part of leaders to protect their population. Anambra State requires huge investment in the health workforce and the industry of biotechnology. With Dr Maduka, priority will be given to disease prevention, universal coverage and very affordable access to treatment. Better funding of the health sector will lead to retention and attraction of the best in the field of health services, giving a boost to medical tourism in the State.
When Dr Maduka mounts the saddle, the destination for all matters concerning health for Nigerians will cease to be India. It will be Anambra State, the light of the Nation.