Stakeholders in Nigeria’s health, accident and emergency response industries have demanded an increase in government and private sector investments in facilities that will ease the plight of trauma victims.
The stakeholders who gathered in Lagos for the 2019 Trauma Conference organized by TraumaCare International Foundation expressed worries over the plight of victims, with the majority lacking access to requisite facilities for speedy treatment and help from professionals.
In recent years, the country has witnessed an increase in the number of suicides occasioned by depression while there are also several cases of persons traumatized owing to the loss of family members or friends, accident victims from road, water, and air mishaps, just as fire disasters, floods, homelessness, failed marriages, truncated relationships, collapsed businesses, loss of jobs have wreaked emotional havoc on thousands of Nigerians.
The experts who bemoaned cases where doctors and medical officials turn down the request to treat patients in emergency conditions urged the public to report such officials for disciplinary actions.
Lagos State Commissioner for Health, Professor Akin Abayomi, who spoke at the event, lamented the stressed-induced trauma that thousands of residents face daily in the state due to infrastructural gaps, assuring that efforts were made to mitigate the impact on citizens.
Abayomi, who decried the activities of irresponsible commercial motorcyclists who he described as a source of trauma to many, declared: “Many people are going through challenges associated with living in a megacity where no one seems to care; there is trauma from chronic diseases, road accidents, irresponsible Okada riders, physical violence, and mental health crisis.
“What we do to trauma cases at the scene of an accident is also a source of the problem. We are looking for opportunities to establish water ambulances and increase ambulance points around Lagos to assist those in need of emergency medical attention,” he said.
Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire lauded the organizers of the event saying it came at a time the Federal Government was taking proactive steps to curb the score of trauma on citizens.
Ehanire who identified the challenge of access to blood for most victims of accidents and ill-health in the country disclosed that the government was working on a Bill for the establishment of a national blood transfusion to address the challenge.
The Minister also called on NGOs to scale up a partnership with the government to boost Healthcare service delivery to Nigerians.
A participant, Christian Ikpa while speaking to journalists lamented that thousands of Nigerians die annually not knowing where and how to get help in times of trauma.
“I commend the effort of Trauma Care Foundation, but given the magnitude of the challenge and the population of the country, it is important that more private sector establishments partner with the government in investing in the requisite infrastructure, and the hiring and training of officials involved in the management of trauma. There is also the need to increase awareness on how and where victims can get help, “Ikpa said.