Take the diseases where they belong... The Hospital.

2015-02-21 06:15

Of late, as I watch the news, it has struck me that our health system is almost always in the news... for all wrong reasons. The morbidity and the mortality rates seems to sky-rocket in our hospitals. Many hospitals are even termed "hospitals of death". Hayi, madoda!

Of course, no amount of justifications can ever alleviate our worries in this regard. It can never be excusable that the hospitals would ironically turn into the slaughter house of our people, instead of being haven for all.

There are, of course, quite a lot of factors that lead to loss of lives in the hospitals. Some of which are preventable, while others are just beyond anybody else's control. Being that as it may, a human life is one too many. Nobody should be allowed to die. It is our collective responsibility to safeguard the health of our nation... All of us!

Over and above all the many preventable factors that contribute significantly to the loss of lives, late presentation to the hospitals has come to the fore. The reality is, a vast majority of our people only start seeking professional medical help when they are already moribund, and their conditions are unsalvageable.

Why do we people delay going to hospitals, though?

There is no single right answer. Many factors influence that. Being it administrative red tapes, political issues, inaccessible healthcare services or the lack thereof, traditional or cultural rites, personal issues, socio-economic and many others.

Over the years, I took time to enquire more about this. And for many moribund patients, it turned out that the hospital was, in fact, their last resort. They would have first went through the traditional healers and spiritual healers, a vast majority of which do go to spiritual healers, in particular... the churches.

As a Christian, whose faith suffers progressive malaise, I had to re-visit the Holy Book and learn more about this spiritual healing. As well, I ran some few informal interviews in this regard.

Clearly, the Holy Book talks strongly about spiritual healing. The Holy Hunk went across villages healing the sick. He healed a psychotic patient, and cast the psychosis to the pigs. He healed an epileptic boy. He healed the blind man. Hallelujah, Bazalwane! But there is absolutely no mention of the hospital in the Holy Book.

Our people just take it literally. Sickness symbolize EVIL SPIRIT. After all, the devil punished Job through sickness, leprosy. Our Men Of God, Prophets, Evangelists, Pastors, Bishops, Spiritual Healers, Priests, Apostles, whichever name they prefer, use "Spiritual Healing" as a punch line for recruitment. Any pastor who "heals no disease" runs anorexic church, while the multitudes flock to the healer.

Let's be fair and frank. A lot of these poor people, if presented earlier in the hospitals, would unlikely lose their lives. A lot of diseases get to their advanced stages while our hands are up high, eyes closed, and asking for forgiveness "for the sins we committed", that lead to us having these diseases.

When shall our unsuspecting community open their eyes, and know that diseases are physiological changes that are mostly manageable in the hospitals rather than in churches? When will our people learn that a broken bone needs physical reduction and fixation, rather than a word of mouth from a pastor? When will our people learn that cancer is curable through early detection, medications, operations, chemotherapy and radiotherapy?

As much as I'm aware that our health system is not anywhere closer to being perfect, I still believe that should our people start taking their diseases where they are meant to be, the death rate shall decline significantly. The complications of the diseases shall be avoided.

...as I open my eyes, and shout AMEN!

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