Nigeria records about 590,000 new cases of tuberculosis yearly, a public health physician at the department of epidemiology and community health at the university of Ilorin teaching hospital, Prof. Sunday Aderibigbe, has said.
Aderibighe made the submission in a paper he presented in Ilorin on Tuesday at the 2023 annual national conference and workshop of the School of Health Educators and Professionals Association in Nigeria (SHEPAN).
In the paper entitled “Addressing contemporary challenges of community health in Nigeria’’, Aderibigbe said tuberculosis accounted for more than 10 percent of deaths in Nigeria annually.
He lamented that Nigeria ranked second in Africa and third in the world in the prevalence of tuberculosis.
Aderibigbe urged policymakers and political officeholders to implement policies that would improve the lives of Nigerians and erase the negative indices of the state of healthcare in the country.
He stressed that political will, the elimination of corruption, poverty alleviation, and an efficient and effective social system were prerequisites to eliminating community health challenges in Nigeria.
Aderibigbe also noted that community health plays a vital role in the well-being of individuals, families, and societies.
In another paper presentation, a lecturer at the Department of Nursing Science, University of Ilorin, Dr. Simeon Olubiyi, said there was a need to define the philosophical basis of public health.
He explained that this was necessary to facilitate effective monitoring of public health functions and provide a more secure basis for advocating for public health funding.
Olubiyi noted that every country should have its own unique Community Health Improvement Process (CHIP), as no country could develop without solving issues that hindered its successes.
He advocated for community-tailored interventions, with CHIPs unique to each community.
“It is essential for policymakers, healthcare professionals, and community members to collaborate and prioritize these issues to achieve equitable and sustainable community health outcomes.
“By addressing issues through collaborative efforts, policymakers, healthcare providers, and community members can work towards creating healthier and more equitable communities,’’ Olubuyi said.
His paper was entitled “Addressing contemporary issues in community health: Rethinking the concept, expectations, and conduct of community health services.’’
In his contribution, SHEPAN president Prof. Olufemi Kalesanwo of the University of Ibadan called for attention to the health needs of adolescents in Nigeria.
He said the conference afforded health educators the opportunity to propose solutions to challenges in community health.