According to Prof. Sunday Aderibigbe, a public health physician at the University of Ilorin Teaching Hospital’s Department of Epidemiology and Community Health, Nigeria registers roughly 590,000 new cases of tuberculosis each year.
The submission was made by Mr. Aderibighe in a paper he delivered on Tuesday at the School of Health Educators and Professionals Association of Nigeria (SHEPAN) 2023 annual national conference and workshop in Ilorin.
In the paper entitled: “Addressing contemporary challenges of community health in Nigeria’’, Mr Aderibigbe said tuberculosis accounted for more than 10 per cent of deaths in Nigeria annually.
He lamented that Nigeria ranked second in Africa and third in the world in the prevalence of tuberculosis.
Mr Aderibigbe urged policy makers and political office holders to implement policies that would improve the lives of Nigerians and erase the negative indices on the state of healthcare in the country.
He stressed that political will, elimination of corruption; poverty alleviation and efficient and effective social system were prerequisites to eliminating community health challenges in Nigeria.
Mr Aderibigbe noted also that community health played a vital role in the well-being of individuals; of families and of societies.
In another paper presentation, Dr Simeon Olubiyi, a lecturer at the Department of Nursing Science, University of Ilorin, said there was the need to define the philosophical basis of public health.
He explained that this was necessary to facilitate effective monitoring of public health functions as a more secure basis for advocacy of public health funding.
Mr Olubiyi noted that every country should have its unique Community Health Improvement Process (CHIP) as no country could develop without solving issues that hindered its successes.
He advocated for community-tailored interventions, with CHIPs unique to each community.
“It is essential for policy-makers, healthcare professionals, and community members to collaborate and prioritise these issues to achieve equitable and sustainable community health outcomes.
“By addressing issues through collaborative efforts, policymakers, healthcare providers, and community members can work towards creating healthier and more equitable communities,” Mr Olubuyi said.
The title of his paper was “Rethinking the concept, expectations, and conduct of community health services: Addressing contemporary issues in community health.”
Prof. Olufemi Kalesanwo of the University of Ibadan, the president of SHEPAN, emphasized the importance of paying attention to the health issues of Nigerian adolescents in his contribution.
According to him, the conference gave health educators a chance to provide solutions for problems in community health.