2023: What change is Atiku bringing to the presidency?

Globally, Nigeria has one of the poorest health sector biometrics that includes infant mortality of 72 deaths per 1000 births, a child mortality of 114 deaths per 1000 births; and maternal mortality of 917 per 100000.
People's Democratic Party (PDP) candidate Atiku Abubakar attends a ceremony as 18 candidates signed a pledge to ensure peaceful elections in Abuja, Nigeria on September 29, 2022. Adam Abu-bashal / Anadolu Agency (Photo by Adam Abu-bashal / ANADOLU AGENCY / Anadolu Agency via AFP)

People’s Democratic Party (PDP) candidate Atiku Abubakar. (Photo by Adam Abu-bashal / ANADOLU AGENCY / Anadolu Agency via AFP)

Globally, Nigeria has one of the poorest health sector biometrics that includes infant mortality of 72 deaths per 1000 births, a child mortality of 114 deaths per 1000 births; and maternal mortality of 917 per 100000. These are scary reports that must be reversed. No mother should lose her life while bringing forth another life, neither should an infant lose its life on account of dilapidated health-care facilities. At the root of these avoidable deaths in Nigeria is a health-care system that has virtually collapsed due to lack of investment and inadequate funding by the government.
These are indeed critical times in the Nigeria’s health sector and for her citizens too. The coming general elections especially the February 25th presidential election provides Nigerians the doorway to reposition her country and bring it back to the paths of qualitative leadership following a rather unsavory experience in the hurtful rule of the APC. The root cause of these near collapsed public health sector is in leadership, that is why Nigerians of good conscience must jettison clannish sentiments and vote for a candidate with a practicable and a well articulated plans to revitalize the country’s public health sector to get it working again. That candidate is none other than His Excellency, Atiku Abubakar of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP).

In the forefront of Atiku’s 5 points plans in government as enshrined in his policy document entitled: ‘My Covenant With Nigerians’ is reviving the public health sector to make it a fortress for ailing Nigerians. The former vice president of Nigeria believes that no country can truly have a sustainable development without strong and healthy citizens to drive that process. It is against this background that Atiku Abubakar has vowed, if elected, to accelerate Nigerians transition towards achieving universal access to affordable and quality health-care services for all by 2030; encourage medium and large-scale pharmaceutical industries for the local production of essential drugs.

The seemingly uncorrectable poor doctor to patients ratio in Nigeria has been identified by health analysts as a humongous challenge in the public health sector which successive governments have callously circumvented for reasons of lack of political will and ideas to raise the bar to international best practices.

In 2018, Nigeria had a ratio of one doctor to 6000 patients, which is a far cry from World Health Organization (WHO) recommendation of one doctor to 600 patients. The situation must have worsened as a result of the mass exodus of health workers following the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020. We cannot improve our health system if we allow our doctors to seek greener pastures in other climes. Atiku plans to revert this ugly situation by bringing all Nigerians healthcare professionals to the frontline and attract indigenous doctors in the diaspora back into the country to reverse brain drain and boost Nigeria’s health sector.
Currently, 60 million Nigerians do not have access to portable water and another 130 million Nigerians live in environments that are dirty without proper sanitation facilities whilst the APC leadership and its presidential candidate in the coming election, Bola Ahmed Tinubu continue to junket the UK and France respectively for the same medical care they have callously denied their fellow citizens. It is laughable and insulting that such epic failure should be reinforced by some Nigerians.

To provide clean drinking water and ensure healthy living for all Nigerians, Atiku’s plan on health for Nigerians will capture everyone irrespective of their status. The policy thrust is all embracing and targeted towards preventive care strategy by creating a clean environment, modernizing living conditions as well carrying out regular enlightment campaigns on healthy living and supporting with curative care through the provision of state of the art health care facilities in hospitals and rural clinics.

Nigerians will begin to enjoy unrestricted access to basic maternal and child health, reproductive health, immunization and mental health as well as effective therapies when they elect Atiku Abubakar in the February 25th presidential election. His government will be positioned to deal proactively with emergency epidemics like Ebola virus, Lassa fever, COVID-19 and other disease outbreaks that occasionally afflict the people.

At the root of a dysfunctional health sector is also a malfunctioning ministry of health. Atiku Abubakar in his agenda in the health industry is ready to carry out a comprehensive reform of the federal ministry of health and its agencies to focus on policy design, standardisation monitoring and evaluation.

Fellow Nigerians, as we go to the polls, we must critically analyze the action policies of the major candidates so as to make informed decisions with our votes. Nigerians must discern among the leading candidates who is determined and prepared for governance from the one who wants to be a president because he was instrumental in the emergence of president Muhammadu Buhari, and therefore claims it is his turn to be rewarded for his political generosity; or the young inexperience opportunist who want ascend to power by telling lies to hapless Nigerians. Lets storm various polling units in the country and give our votes to Atiku Abubakar, who at the moment is simply the man the job needs.
Olatunde writes from Ibadan

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