By; BAYO AKAMO, Ibadan
Vice Chancellor of University of Medical Sciences, Ondo State, Professor Adesegun Fatusi on Wednesday declared that there is still the need for government to focus a lot on strengthening the community health system in Nigeria
Professor Adesegun made the call in Ibadan while delivering a lecture entitled “Unchanging Themes and Changing Times: The Promise of Community Medicine and the Poverty of Health in Nigeria”, to mark the 70th birthday of a Professor of Clinical Epidemiology and Community Medicine, Mike Asuzu held at the Theophilus Ogunlesi hall, UCH, Ibadan,
According to the Vice Chancellor University of Medical Sciences, to achieve such, a deliberate policy must be put in place by the government to encourage the community health department in all the medical schools.
Stressing that there is also the need to empower members of the public accessing healthcare facilities public health and community medicine for it to improve across the country, Professor Adesegun stated that this will enable them to know more about heath and as well improve the ability to seek healthcare
“We need to do more to improve our health situation and what we need to do is to focus a lot on strengthening the community health system because the community health system is the bedrock for ensuring that you have a sustainable health system,” he said.
Professor Adesegun added, “and community system talks about the people and their family because ultimately the producer of health is not the doctors, nurses or the health facility, the producers are the people themselves. People can come to the hospital when they are sick but for the other times that they are not sick, they are the ones maintaining their own health themselves.”
The Vice Chancellor pointed out that the nation’s health system had not lived to many of its promises especially in terms of healthcare delivery to the people at the community levels.
Lauding Professor Asuzu for his numerous contributions to the development of community medicine practice in Nigeria, Professor Adesegun called on both government and the people to have a change of attitude if the discipline must adequately address the problem of health insecurity plaguing the country.
According to the Vice Chancellor, “and so, one of the things we need to do even as we strive to improve our health system in terms of health personnel and in terms of health facility is also to empower people to know more about health, improve their ability to seek healthcare when they need it and ensure that they have access,” saying, “so, every health system, particularly our medical schools, they all have community health department, those departments cannot just be departments to talk about theories, they need to set up systems where they can demonstrate where they can teach and where they can show how and things work.
“We are talking about the need to develop models and there are several models that are available that we can adapt to improve our health system to become more impactful.”