Nigeria, like many West African countries, is making great strides in healthcare and many other measures of national social and economic welfare. Many of the advancements and improvements are the result of the efforts of passionate expatriates who return to the country with a strong desire to make a difference in the lives of their fellow Nigerians. However, the infrastructure in Nigeria is not keeping pace, which is slowing the growth of many programs and limiting their success and impact.
World-class healthcare facilities are a vital part of the infrastructure in Nigeria because they affect so many other aspects of country-wide development.
The Role of Hospitals in Overall Development
There are some obvious benefits that come from building and maintaining world-class healthcare facilities. Quality of life, lifespan, infant mortality rate, and many other measures of health improve when modern equipment and well-trained healthcare professionals are available, but what role do these improvements play in the overall development of a country?
The infrastructure in Nigeria needs to get better quickly if the country is going to hold onto some of its best and brightest students and professionals. Currently, Nigeria is experiencing a brain drain because the vast majority of the most promising doctors, nurses, and other healthcare professionals are leaving to work in London, Houston, and other locations throughout Europe and North America. Some of them are able to make it back, but that is usually in the later years of their professional lives.
Nigeria needs world-class hospitals to decrease the infant mortality rate, help these same children stay healthy and productive for a long time, and keep the industry’s best doctors and nurses in the country.
The Importance of Turnkey Hospitals
In most developed countries; hospitals are built to the buyer’s specifications and tailored to one specialisation or another. This is a fantastic model in countries with a sufficient number of facilities and specialists, but it is not the optimal setup for developing nations.
Hospitals, along with all other sections of the infrastructure in Nigeria, need to be built to a universal standard with the ability to serve a broad array of needs and situations. There are several reasons for this, including:
- Unreliable transportation: Traffic, roads, ambulances, emergency helicopters and many of the other features that allow western facilities to transfer patients from one specialised hospital to another are not always accessible or available in Nigeria.
- Enticing expatriates: The business model for turnkey hospitals is designed to bring in buyers after the facility is built, rather than lining up the buyer beforehand and building to the desires of that person or team. Because of this, turnkey facilities are a much better tool for drawing the most talented healthcare providers to return.
- Raising and creating universal standards: Doctors, nurses, and other medical staff are typically trained in a variety of countries, schools, and settings. Some attend school in Nigeria and then leave to work abroad, others are trained in North America, and still others go to a variety of schools in Europe. Turnkey hospitals are useful for taking input from all of these sources and consolidating them into a standard that is designed specifically for the needs of the Nigerian people.
Olatunji Olowolafe (also known as Dr. Tunji Olowolafe) is one of these expatriates seeking to bring world-class healthcare to his country. Olatunji Olowolafe is the CEO of Deux Projects International, an organization dedicated to improving the infrastructure in Nigeria and help bring healthcare and other social services to the people. With his help, world-class healthcare in Nigeria will soon become reality.
Written by: Joseph’s interest in healthcare and infrastructure development began in college and developed through a period of volunteering in both Africa and South America. Now a professional writer, Joseph focuses on the long term gains in economic development that comes with improved healthcare standards and the infrastructure developments needed.