THE Minister of Health, Professor Isaac Adewole, on Sunday urged Nigerians to improve their health seeking behaviour to prevent and reduce burden of diseases in the country.
Adewole told the News News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos that many Nigerians preferred to spend so much on ”Aso-Ebi” and spend little or nothing on their health, because they do not value health.
The minister, who spoke on the sidelines of a media parley marking his one year in his office, said”many Nigerians see payment for health as a loss”.
According to him, there are many diseases, which people do not even know they have, that is why we are working to improve population awareness by educating Nigerians regularly on how to improve their health status.
”The end point is that every home should be a primary healthcare facility and every Nigerian should be a primary healthcare giver.
”People check their cars every morning for problems; we should also treat our bodies better than that by going for regular health checks.
”The whole implication is that, it is cheaper to prevent diseases than to treat; the next line is that when it is detected early, it is also cheaper.
”It is when it has reached advanced and complicated stage that it becomes a problem and more expensive.
”But with regular checks, diseases are prevented, detected early, properly treated and managed. We should be more conscious to reduce the burden of diseases in our country, ” the minister said.
Adewole also called on wealthy Nigerians to invest in health, and should not leave the management and funding of the sector to the government alone.
”Let us clone the Bill Gates and Dangotes. There are many things you can do as an individual in the sector.
”We should change our perception of the healthcare as one that it is only for poor people. Diseases can affect both the poor and the rich,” Adewole said.