About one year ago, the Nigerian Finance Minister officially admitted that the country’s economy had entered recession. Prior to this declaration, the health sector was notorious in parading some of the worst health indices in the world.
The recession has undoubtedly compounded an already bad situation. The purchasing power of Nigerians has nosedived amidst unpaid workers’ salaries. Qualitative healthcare is beyond the reach of most people, as people no longer patronize hospitals, self-medication is at an all-time high and quacks now take advantage of the situation. Cost of medical equipment, consumables and drugs has increased to incredible levels due in part to scarcity of foreign exchange. Shortage of vaccines is now common place in Nigeria.
The harsh economic climate is taking a huge toll on the digestive health of Nigerians. Hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection is a major public health issue, affecting about 20 million Nigerians, with great morbidity and mortality. This disease is vaccine-preventable but the prevalent disruption in vaccine supplies especially in parts of the country ravaged by insurgency is a cause for great concern. The consequences of not immunizing Nigerian children against HBV in 2017 are unimaginable, considering the fact that infections acquired in childhood tend to run a protracted course with greater chances of eventuating in very serious sequellae. Similarly, the economic realities of the day prevent those who are already infected from accessing proper investigation and treatment. We may be heading towards an era of chronic liver disease epidemic.
Other parts of the gastrointestinal system are not spared. The incidence of colorectal cancer has been reported to be on the increase in Nigeria. The cost of screening, diagnosis and treatment of this dreaded killer is clearly not within the reach of most Nigerians. In fact, there are reports that majority of patients who attend hospitals these days are people with advanced and complicated cases. The examples illustrated above are just two out of numerous diseases of the gastrointestinal system that are ravaging the populace.
I want to seize this opportunity to call on Nigerian Governments (Federal, State and Local) to urgently take definite steps to stem the ugly trend. Health budgets should be increased to a level where basic medical needs of the most vulnerable segments of the society would be reasonably met. Urgent steps should be taken to make necessary vaccines available. Provision of drugs and other medical supplies needs urgent and special intervention. These would help reduce the impending epidemic of serious chronic digestive diseases.
— Akere A, Oke TO and Fakoya TO
Aim: In the investigation of the cause of lower gastrointestinal bleeding (LGIB), colonoscopy is the most effective and convenient method. Information concerning the aetiology of LGIB in Nigeria is still scarce because, colonoscopy is not widely available in the country. The aim of this study theref...
— Neri Gustavo Picardo, Nnennaya Anthony Ajayi and Immanuel Anthony Ajayi
Background: Lower Gastrointestinal endoscopy is useful in the evaluation and treatment of many lower gastrointestinal diseases. There has been no report on indications and outcomes of diagnostic lower gastrointestinal endoscopy in the South Eastern part of Nigeria
Aim: To determine the indications ...
— Kooffreh-Ada Mbang, Okpara Henry, Okonkwo Uchenna.C, Ngim Ogbu .E and Ihekwaba Anele
Background: Chronic Liver Disease (CLD) is a medical condition commonly seen in gastroenterology practice in Nigeria. Thorough evaluation of CLD patients can be expensive; often times being unaffordable for patients and also taking a toll on existing limited health resources. Despite this, the relev...
— Otegbayo JA, Onifade OM, Akinyemi JO, Oluyemi OY, Okoje VN, Adeniyi AR, Rabor FD and Adeleye
Background: Undernutrition and overnutrition constitute notable health hazards to man. Thus, optimal nutrition can prevent disease and promote health. The goal of nutrition assessment is to identify any specific nutrition risk(s) or clear existence of malnutrition. This paper attempts to assess the ...
The Nigerian Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, is a bi-annual publication of the Society for Gastroenterology and Hepatology in Nigeria (SOGHIN), which publishes original research on the biology and diseases of the Gut, Liver, Pancreas, Peritoneum and Spleen both in humans and experimental animal models.