Nigeria needs data on epidemics to prepare for emergencies —Don

Professor Ayodele  Jegede

A Professor of Medical Sociology, Ayodele  Jegede,  has called on the Federal Government to establish a National Disease Observatory System (NDOS) to document information  on disease distribution across the country by their type, location and local practices.

Professor Jegede, the Dean of Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Ibadan made the call while delivering the 419th Inaugural Lecture of the University at the Trenchard Hall of the university. It was entitled “The Forest Through the Trees: Themes in Social Production of Health.’’

He said that such a data on diseases across the country would assist in clinical practice and preparedness for epidemics and treating of diseases of emergencies such as hemorrhagic Ebola Virus Disease.

According to him, the national disease data base would also come useful in training health workers in order to equip them properly for the task of community based service delivery.

The don, who also called for the intergration of humanities into medical training because all diseases are products of human behaviour or lifestyles, stated the need to sustain and enhance the primary healthcare system through adequate funding.

Professor Jegede asked the Federal Government to also identify and harness community resources for improved healthcare services delivery in the light of the dwindling public funding.

The don said communities have a lot of untapped resources which could have enhanced healthcare delivery, adding tapping into this opportunity can help to alleviate the suffering of the people.

According to him, “this is necessary because of the awakening interest in traditional therapies which are being promoted by the poor state of the health system and the quest for cultural revival.”

Professor Jegede stated from studies on relationship between society and the individuals, it was not enough for the Federal Government to provide health infrastructures, but also equally important was a good understanding of the people for whom the services are provided.

According to him, “indigenous knowledge is a useful tool for effective healthcare service delivery since families are at the forefront of care provision. Adequate documentation of the relevant indigenous knowledge will therefore be necessary.

“This is because the major problem facing traditional medicine today is lack of documentation which denies successive generations the knowledge of effective traditional therapies for common diseases.”

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