Nigeria is currently maintaining the first spot in breast cancer disease in the West Africa region. In the same vein, the country is also second only to the neighboring Niger Republic on the issue of infant mortality
These statistics came to the fore in a keynote address presented by a university lecturer, Prof Noel Wannang, a renowned pharmacology and clinical pharmacist during a pharmacy week seminar held by the Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria (PSN) Akwa Ibom state chapter Thursday in Uyo the state capital.
Addressing participants at the event with the theme: “Pharmacists Strengthening the Health Systems,” Prof. Wannag who is also a council member West African Post- graduate College of Pharmacy, lamented that health outcomes remain poor in Nigeria despite higher expenditure since 2001, stressing that better outcomes are seen in countries with equivalent and lower expenditures.
According to him, “life expectancy in Nigeria now stands at 60 years for males and 64 years for females; infant mortality stands at 54. 74 deaths per 1000 live births which places Nigeria only second to Niger Republic.”
The don highlighted that non natal mortality rate globally and with 640 daily deaths, Nigeria’s ranks second to India in the world.
He further added, “Maternal mortality rate stagnated at 290,000 annually since 2015, it is sad to say that India and Nigeria rank for 1st and 2nd respectively.”
He urged pharmacists to strengthen the health system in ways that achieve more equitable and sustainable improvements to health outcomes with requisite technical and political knowledge and action.
Earlier in a welcome address, the chairman planning committee of pharmacy week 2023, Phar Dighenyong Sam Udiminune had described the health system in Nigeria as not only weak but asphyxiated, listed weak governance, institutions, structures and operational inefficiencies as basic causes of Nigeria’s deteriorating health care system.