Health Is Like Money, We Never Have A True Idea Of Its Value Until We Lose It.
Someone posted something so profound it just spoiled my day.
It ruined my day, not because he has really said anything we don’t already know, but because it is a reminder of the sorry state under which most Nigerians live (survive) .
Too many people needlessly die of ailments that they shouldn’t die of.
This thought-provoking piece was posted on a WhatsApp Group by a notable techno-preneur..
He says (reproduced verbatim),
Nothing scares me more than being old and not being able to work.
As an African entrepreneur, we are basing it all on hope of some massive payout in future which most likely than not may never come.
At 37, when supporting my mother and I had no kids, I realized that when I had kids, I would have to support them well into retirement and there is also no guarantee that they would look after me the same way I am doing for my mother now.
My mother is lucky, she is American. She gets most of her healthcare paid by Medicare and she gets social security benefits. As an African I get zero when I get to her age. It was why it was important that my kids too became American.
When I see how the Americans and British fight and plan their future, I can’t help but realize how stupid the pervasive wave of corruption in Africa is.
There is absolutely no planning being done. Everyone including the entrepreneurs are barely able to get their heads above water.
In 2008, I made more money than I had made in previous years of my life in Nigeria. I also had kidney stones and there was no Lithotripsy machine to break the stones in all of Nigeria. It was then that I realized that personal wealth without any enforceable social contract to improve common facilities for everyone was just delusion.
All the money you have made is meaningless when your car hits a pothole and you have an accident. In an emergency situation, you will suffer the same poor health care as others too.
I think our job as African entrepreneurs is not to make money but to create a different future. A future where real value comes from Africa and not a dumping ground for aid and waste. A future where Africa becomes a force and not fodder.
The future scares me. I will not lie to you. I see very few people who think of a future for Africa other than for themselves.
II The parlous state of our medical state in Nigeria was brought home forcefully to me when he also said,
The scary part?. A Urologist at LUTH told me that I either leave for the UK or I die. He didn’t think surgery was a good idea as I would lose the kidney.
In Manchester it is an outpatient procedure.
How can an ailment that doesn’t even require admission in other climes kill one here? Why don’t we have abundant Lithotripsy Machines in our hospitals? Why are our hospitals generally not properly equipped, where poverty – leading to disease – are commonplace?
Someone cynically said,
The public hospital management don’t care while the private hospitals make more money carrying out dialysis.
With no Credible Medicare here, what happens to people without the resources to go abroad for medical treatment.?
Hear another viewpoint,
The older generation has failed in more ways than one, and the youth must decide to do things differently. Create wealth through your business and invest in setting up good hospitals.
We have sufficient billionaires and millionaires in Nigeria to set up 1,000 world class hospitals. There is no reason we should not have medical centres for innovation and inventions across this country where the best minds from our schools are funneled into, placed on good monthly allowance and be horrified to innovate and invent through R & D.
Turning this country around is in the hands of business people who are patriotic. Don’t slave to get rich just to holiday in US and UK and give birth to your children in these places. Great hospitals are serious money spinners.
Money without a sound healthcare system is meaningless.
With our leaders and the moneyed jetting abroad for every physical ailment, where does that leave our teeming population without the resources to do that? With no alternative capable local medicare for some ailments, what is the fate of common Nigerians?
People perish for lack of knowledge. Poor people also perish for lack of money!
When we hear..
Health is wealth.
We don’t appreciate just how profound this is.
Take care of your health and that of loved ones like your life depends on it (because it does!)
Prevention (of ailment) is better than cure!