As Confucius noted in one of his inspiring quotes, “When you see a man of worth, think of how you may emulate him. When you see one who is unworthy, examine yourself.” Against the backdrop of this saying, particularly when analyzed from the perspective of the brilliant performance of Mr. Babatunde Raji Fashola, when he was the governor of Lagos state, one cannot but agree with Confucius that a man of worth is truly worth to be emulated.
Mr. Fashola, who is now the Minister of Power, Works and Housing of the Federal Republic of Nigeria in his tenure as a governor demonstrated that he believes in the dictum that says “Health is wealth” through the establishment of a modern Cardiac and Renal Centre (CRC) in the state.
In order to bring the project to reality, the governor and his team at Alausa ostensibly put on their collective thinking cap and came up with the idea of upgrading the Gbagada General Hospital to an annex of Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH).
It would be recalled that before the former governor upgraded the hospital to an annex of LASUTH that he had earlier accomplished a similar project by affiliating the Ikeja General Hospital to LASUTH.
With all intents and purposes, the former governor embarked on the health project to ensure that Nigerians, particularly Lagosians, who were suffering from various stages of kidney disease were medically catered for without going through the stress of embarking on what can in this context be termed a medical pilgrimage to European and Asian countries.
The deadly nature of kidney disease has led to the death of many Nigerians while compelling some to go cap in hand begging for fund to enable them access treatments abroad thereby leading to capital flight of several millions of naira from the country. It is germane to mention at this juncture that before Fashola embarked on the laudable project that St. Nicholas Hospital was the only medical institution that was offering the service in the country,.
Without any modicum of exaggeration, the existence of just three cardiac and renal centres in the country can be said to be inadequate in a country where statistics has shown that one in every seven Nigerians is suffering from one form of kidney disorder.
Against the foregoing backdrop, it would be a thing of joy for the country and Nigerians if governors that are yet to have cardiac and renal centres in their respective state start working with the template left by the former governor of Lagos state.
There is no denying the fact that when governors embark on the project that their efforts would attract tremendous benefits to the people’s wellbeing and at the same time save the country the debilitating cost of losing millions of naira as a result of capital flight. Also, it will turn the country to a medical destination for nationals of other countries as they would begin to fly into the country in search of medical solution to kidney problem.
Apart from directly impacting on the nation’s economy, it would save those suffering from the disease the hassle of spending not less than N70,000 at the first instance and between N20,000 and N25,000 on a dialysis that is expected to be administered on a weekly basis.
It would be recalled in this context that LASUTH doctors for the first time on November 11, 2015 successfully carried out a kidney transplantation on a 56 year old man who reportedly got a kidney donated to him by his 26 year old cousin.
Against the backdrop of the foregoing laudable development in the health sector in Lagos state, there is no denying the fact that there is hope of many Nigerians that are either facing the health challenge of kidney problem or caring for a relation experiencing the challenge.
At the inauguration, Fashola noted that the medical facilities ranked as one of the best in Africa and can be compared with the best modern facilities obtainable in the developed countries of the world.
The commissioner for health, Dr. Jide Idris said the idea of establishing the CNC was to ameliorate the burden of communicable disease in the state.
Permit me to say at this juncture that the essence of this piece is to urge current governors in Nigeria that are yet to have kidney medical facilities in their respective state to do so without further delay as their four year tenure is fast running out.
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