Sunday, June 19, 2016


It is in the Season 6, Episode 3 of the Fox Series House, titled THE TYRANT, where  President Dibala of a fictitious African country, played by James Earl Jones fell ill while in the United States to attend the United Nation's General Assembly, and one of the doctors having developed some conscience (after been made aware of the acts of genocide perpetrated by the ailing president back in his country in Africa), puts same over and above that of saving the life of the president, to compromise the treatment plan, such that the president later dies due to wrong treatment been administered on him by the medical team attending to him, and on the plus side ensuring that moderates get into power in the African country to hopefully turn things around for good.

Seeing this episode, took my mind back to the many cases of African leaders, despots and none, who had died abroad while receiving treatments which they considered their own people incapable or the hospitals in their countries ill equipped to manage, and if there wasn't the possibility that what happened in the House (MD) series couldn't have happened in any of the cases. Yes, much of what we see on TV is fiction, but couldn't there be some element of truth and reality in them? If somehow, the tightly held secrets that's the ailments of some of these presidents on treatment abroad manage to still get leaked to the people back home, how can we be sure that their treatment as well isn't compromised?

I hope African presidents will watch this particular episode of House, and begin to do right by their people in their countries as regards health. If a President Muhammadu Buhari after allocating to the State House clinic in Aso Rock multiples of the amount budgeted for all the Teaching Hospitals in Nigeria put together, but yet flies to the United Kingdom to treat an Ear Infection, what hope is there for the common Nigerian who depends on underfunded teaching hospitals and those below it when they have life threatening diseases? Will these presidents for the sake of avoiding the fate of the fictitious President Dibala in House, not begin to tinker with the idea of turning the present situation of the health sectors in their countries for good, if not for anything but for their own safety?

As President Buhari returns today, I wish he will ensure this be the last time he and his ministers (three of whom are also abroad for treatment) will waste scarce resources going abroad for treatment, and make it priority to build capacities of Nigerians in the health sector as well as health infrastructure to meet the health needs of the teeming population of Nigerians, rather than the embarrassment they cause the country with their frequent visits to hospitals abroad to treat even the slightest discomfort to their physical well being.



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