On the Fiftieth Anniversary of the formal creation of the Department of Pediatrics at the University College Hospital of Ibadan, Nigeria Dr Tony Marinho shared observations about the status of child health and the need for greater political will to meet the challenges. He has provided an excerpt of his talk of 18 October 2012 below.
Politicians must learn that the elimination of malaria and other health problems is their heavy responsibility, not costly conferences and four wheel drives, but funded health delivery chains, 20million posters and advertising because IGNORANCE ELIMINATION and EDUCATION ARE KEYS TO GOOD HEALTH.
Are there Health/Media Outreach Budgets, Health Ministries/ Media houses meetings and CSR â€˜freeâ€™ airtime for â€˜life-skillâ€™ message advertisements? The UN Secretary General should annually select 50-100 life-skill messages for advertising agencies, the â€˜Global Fund Membershipâ€™, â€˜UN life-skills Partnersâ€™ and â€˜Global Fund Advert Moral Mediaâ€™ to disseminate on commercial packaging with UN incentives eg Annual Prizes for â€˜Best life-skill Messageâ€™, â€˜Best Corporation in Life Skill Disseminationâ€™? Only a fool depends on Bill Gates to buy local airtime to save his children. A UN recommended â€˜60 minutes of free airtime in 30 second slotsâ€™ should be the â€˜free messageâ€™ contribution from the airwaves.
Commercial Messages out-number â€˜life-skill health and socialâ€™ messages by 100-1000:1. We need â€˜Annual UN/WHO/UNICEF Moral Media Campaignsâ€™ for â€˜ignorance eliminationâ€™ strategies? Let every commercial message carry a â€˜piggybackâ€™ â€˜Unrelated Life-skill Messageâ€™ free.Â Why is pre-pregnancy folic acid, malaria and typhoid information, not taught in schools?
Health messages are a human right. Why cannot Nigerian fathers buy ITNets for their children? Do markets, schools and religious houses have 20m posters with health messages? Politicians make 10m personal posters for votes. A picture IS worth a 1000 words, except in Africa.
Our problems are the CINS of politicians – Corruption, Incompetence, Negligence and Selfishness. There is a lack of political love which works against the malaria-ous child.
Annual professionalsâ€™ meetings should provide a feared â€˜pressure groupâ€™Â annual â€˜State Of The State, Nation- An Auditâ€™ The current â€˜save one million livesâ€™ may help achieve the MDGs. The original MDG team deserve a Noble Prize in Preventive Medicine for saving millions.