Adewole: When people have fever and they’re fasting, something is wrong

Adewole tells Nigerians to treat their health the way they treat their cars

Isaac Adewole, the Minister of Health, wants Nigerians to treat their health more carefully than they do their cars.

He said “something is wrong” when people have have headache or fever, and they choose to embark on fasting and prayer instead of going to the hospital.

Adewole said this during his presentation at the ongoing National Health Dialogue held in Abuja on Thursday.

He said that Nigerians must develop the habit of adequate attention to health issues instead of resorting to prayer and fasting.

“Nigerians go late to the hospital. Those with cancers go there late,” he said.

“When people have fever and headache, and they are fasting, something is wrong. Your work is simply to go a health facility, check your blood whether it is malaria, and take proper treatment.

“But when somebody has a health problem and he is fasting and praying, then something is wrong.

“And I do tell people, treat yourself the way you treat your cars. When you wake up in the morning, you clean your car, you check the brake fluid, the radiator, you do many things. When you kick-start the engine and there’s an unusual sound, you drive to the nearest mechanic.

“But when it is health, when people wake up with fever and headache, they say I reject it. Or they just put Robb (balm) on their foreheads and manage.

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“You can’t do that to your car, why are you doing it to your body? Some people are trained to look after your body, see them.”

Adewole charged participants at the dialogue to also come up with concrete plans on how healthcare could be better funded in the country, adding that nothing is ever free.

He noted that in developed countries of the world, there are clear-cut mechanism of funding healthcare delivery.

“When you say health is free, somebody is paying and that is the truth Nigerians should tell themselves,” he said.

“In the UK, they fund the healthcare system through taxation. When you are in the high income bracket in the UK, your tax can be as high as 60 percent and they are using that to fund the healthcare. It’s not just free. Somebody is paying.



    “Even in Freetown, somebody is paying; there’s nothing free there.

    “In some other countries like Germany and so on, it is insurance [that they use to fund healthcare]. So this dialogue will need to come up with clear-cut recommendations: ‘how do we want to fund healthcare?’ Because somebody must pay.”

    Adewole said that health ranks high in the priority of President Muhammadu Buhari, adding that APC is arguably the first political party to include elaborate plans on healthcare delivery into its manifesto.

    “We want to make sure that health facilities are fine,” he said. “We want to make sure that our children get immunization, our babies survive, our children grow and they don’t have to suffer.”



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