The recent alarm raised over the outbreak of cholera in Ogun State which had so far claimed some lives brings to the fore the attention given to the health of the majority of the people in spite of other competing issues of state. As at the last count, the outbreak had claimed about five lives that were officially accounted for.
Closely related to that was the reported cases coronavirus too in Lagos, though the existence of that deadly disease was denied by the state government, the report, which is yet to be verified, has caused some concerns also.
Quite unfortunate that this is happening at a time the country should be adjudged as enjoying the best of benefits in terms of health among the comity of nations. One thing to measure the well being of any nation among others remains the healthy access of the people to quality and affordable health facilities and assistance.
The reason for this is not farfetched. A nation that can boast of healthy individuals may have surmounted a major obstacle to a profitable and reliable labour particularly among the youths.
At a time the country is faced with mounting security challenges in which many innocent souls are killed by religious zealots for a crime for which they know not, the emergence of another potent silent killer in the form of cholera raises a fresh anxiety among those who had thought at this stage of our national development, we ought to have grown beyond shortcomings of this nature in the country’s health care delivery.
Surely with the number officially reported after the outbreak of the epidemics was discovered, many more could have died of the deadly cholera before appreciable help could reach them or even before the government officials were able to provide the needed assistance for their rescue.
Based on information so far released on the development, initial cause of the disease from official sources has blamed the outbreak on the poor hygiene of the rural people in the Abeokuta South local government area of the state. This is not new given the age long neglect of the rural dwellers in the scheme of things both at the state and local government levels.
If the local government councils are well funded, provision of basic health facilities to enhance the healthy lifestyles of the people could have been promoted through efficient funding of reliable sources of drinking water in order to prevent diseases related to this. The last may have not been heard of this scourge just as the unending crises with the battle against polio eradication.
Among the issues to confront had been the religious belief of the people coupled with unenlightened doctrines which had painted the vaccines as against the religious belief of the people just to score cheap points which cannot be justified in any civilized society.
Not in this era of modernity should a country be harassed by the scourge of cholera but what has happened is a pointer to the fact that neglect of the welfare of the people has continued without any of those in government bothering what becomes of them.
How I wish that the cholera outbreak and the general insecurity in terms of health confronting the electorate now would be an issue of campaign in 2015 such that the representatives would be held accountable for their stewardship to the people who elected them.
Provided the people will not sell their conscience and their vote once again when the politicians will come calling to solicit for support after which their welfare will no longer matter to them in the race to secure another term. These are basic issues that should engage the thoughts of the voters now.
A time to call to question the relevance of the constituency projects of our lawmakers both at the state and the federal. Projects that have failed to benefit the people cannot in any way inspire them to return such non-performing representatives back to office.
In spite of the denials and official explanations emanating from government quarters, issues of health challenges such as witnessed in these states are clear indications that all other things may bother our politicians but certainly not the health of the people they promised to serve.