Vice-Chancellor, University of Medical Sciences (UNIMED), Ondo, Professor Adesegun Fatusi has called on the government to accord better attention to community health as a way to effectively address the challenge of health insecurity bedevilling the country.
Fatusi made this call as a guest lecturer at a book presentation in honour of Professor of Clinical Epidemiology and Community Medicine, Mike Asuzu who retired from the services of the University of Ibadan.
At the event held at Theophilus Ogunlesi Hall, Ibadan, Fatusi decried that poor attitude of government continued to hinder community health from living up to its many potentials to improve the health sector.
He called for a deliberate policy by the government to encourage community health departments in all the medical schools across the country to bring to reality all the theories taught within the four walls of classrooms.
Fatusi said, “We need to do more to improve our health situation and what we need to do is to focus a lot on strengthening community health because the community health system is the bedrock for ensuring that you have a sustainable health system.
“And community system talks about the people and their family because ultimately the producer of health is not the doctors, nurses or the health facility, the producers are the people themselves. People can come to the hospital when they are sick but for the other times that they are not sick, they are the ones maintaining their own health themselves.
“And so, one of the things we need to do even as we strive to improve our health system in terms of health personnel and in terms of a health facility is also to empower people to know more about health, improve their ability to seek healthcare when they need it and ensure that they have access.
“So, every health system, particularly our medical schools, they all have community health department, those departments cannot just be departments to talk about theories, they need to set up systems where they can demonstrate where they can teach and where they can show how and things work.
“We are talking about the need to develop models and there are several models that are available that we can adapt to improve our health system to become more impactful.”
In his remarks of the book titled, “The Man Called Michael, whose father’s name is Asuzu”, Fatusi praised the celebrant for his numerous contributions towards changing the face of community medicine practice in Nigeria.
During the launch of the book, Chairman, Association of Public Health Physicians of Nigeria, Oyo State chapter, Dr Olugbade Omotajo, described Professor Asuzu as a virtuous scholar and one who offered selfless service to community medicine and public health practice in the country.
Omotajo disclosed that the proceeds of the book launch would be used to support the endowment of a fellowship prize at the national post-graduate medical college in continuation of his scholarship on community medicine.”
I will call him a champion of health equity. He wants everybody to have the maximum possible level of wellbeing. And he dedicated his life to that. Apart from dedicating his life to championing the course of community medicine and public health, he is also instrumental to the growth and development of a large number of academics,” Omotajo said.
Source: Tribune Online