Pathologist Urges FG to Invest in Healthcare


Emma Okonji

A Nigerian-born Clinical Director of Pathology at the Leads Teaching Hospital in United Kingdom, Dr. Rotimi Olorunda, has called on the Federal Government of Nigeria to invest more in healthcare delivery system in order to boost the health situation of Nigerians and effectively manage any sudden outbreak of virus like the Coronavirus presently ravaging the world.

Olorunda, who spoke yesterday from UK and featured on Arise TV, the broadcast arm of THISDAY Newspapers, said: “The Coronavirus is no respecter of persons and it is killing fast, and this is the reason the Nigerian Government must invest more in its healthcare delivery system.

Olorunda, who said the current investment of N2, 000 per person annually on healthcare delivery system in Nigeria was not enough to give Nigerians a befitting healthcare delivery system, advised that the federal government should increase the healthcare centres in the country, and upgrade them to international standard.

“High profile Nigerians have been infected by COVID-19 and they are not able to travel outside the country for any form of healthcare service because of the global lockdown. This is the more reason why the government must invest in the country’s healthcare delivery system and establish healthcare centres in the country that have international standard. Government should revisit its healthcare system from the primary healthcare to the tertiary healthcare delivery system and upgrade them to international standard,” Olorunda said.

According to him, “We have lots of Nigerian medical doctors practicing outside the country, and I am sure we can contribute towards the fight against COVID-19 in Nigeria. I will also advise the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) and the Ministry of Health to intensify more efforts in the testing process. To achieve this, they must ensure that every state has a testing centre for Coronavirus.

“Currently we have 11 testing centres in Nigeria at the moment, and three of them are in Lagos, two in Abuja and the remaining six centres are spread in six other states.

While responding to the general belief that African herbs can cure Coronavirus, Olorunda said: “I am a Nigerian, and I know that African traditional drugs are good, but as a scientist, I believe strongly in science and medicine.

The challenge with traditional medicine is in the dosage of the drug and its side effect. There are fears that improper use of traditional medicine could damage vital cells of the body. Some people believe in alcoholic drink to fight COVID-19, but what alcohol does is to prevent the virus from spreading from the throat, but it does not stop it from undergoing several divisions in the body cells.”