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Medical Tourism Challenge: The Rivers Initiative – Could That be The Answer?

Gov Amechi

Rivers State government under the leadership of Governor Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi aimed to transform its state into a hub of African Medical Tourism.  The administration plans to reverse the out pour of medical tourism from Nigeria that cost the country staggering billions. Part of the plan includes upgrading its current health facilities across the state to be up to par with both technology and  infrastructure; while the main strategy for becoming the medical tourism destination for Nigerians and all Africans falls behind the two world class medical facilities with the state of the art equipment and technology that is first of its kind in the Sub-Saharan Africa. The Kelsey Harrison Hospital, and the Dental/Maxillo-Facial Specialist Hospital, both in Port Harcourt.

According to the National Coordinator of International Trauma Care Centre (ITCC), Dr. Sydney Ibeanusi,“these facilities are equipped to handle critical various critical medical conditions” Dr. Ibeanusi continued that once these medical centers are fully open for service, “Rivers State will become a tourism destination for Nigerians seeking medical care as many would prefer coming here than going abroad for similar quality of care” He then added that both knee surgeries and MRI imaging that lure most Nigerians to medical tourism are now conveniently and successfully done here in Port Harcourt.

 

Nigerian Movie make history in the U.S. Theaters (AMC)

A Nollywood movie titled Dr Bello is making history as the first Nigerian movie to enter the U.S. film market by debuting the U.S theaters as noted by  its producer, Mr Tony Abulu

Abulu on Monday in Abuja said that the movie would be released in the U.S. theaters from Feb  22  -27 to explore the foriegn potentials of the U.S. film industry. Abulu believed this will also create a platform for other Nigerian movies to enter the U.S. film market.

The movie, Dr Bello, will be starring Isaiah Washington, Vivica Fox, Jimmy Jean-Luis and Nigerian superstars Genevieve Nnaji and Stephanie Okereke: “The cure for cancer has been found in the sky mountains of Africa and an American oncologist will risk everything to find it.”

The film will open at AMC theaters in New York, New Jersey Philadelphia, Baltimore, Washington DC, Atlanta, Charlotte, Houston, Dallas, Miami, Jacksonville, Columbus, Chicago, Detroit and Los Angeles.

The National Government Good Governance Tour of South East Geo-Political Zone: Eye-Opener

However, the road map to achieving dividends of democracy in the 5 eastern states differs from state to state as follows:

  • In Imo state, the government of Rochas Okorocha is placing emphasizes on education and acquisition of skill for self employment. Governor Okorocha has demonstrated this through free-education policy he has implemented in Imo state.
  • In Ebonyi state, Governor Martin Elechi is placing attention on infrastructural development and attitudinal change. Thus far, he has built 34 unity bridges, and has on going  projects like Ochudo Secretariat Complex, and International Market among others.
  • In Enugu state, Governor Sullivan Chime is focusing on extensive road construction and rehabilitation. This has brought Enugu state an attraction of investors.
  • In Anambra state, Governor Peter Obi has an eye on achieving the millennium development goal through grass-root oriented programs aimed at eradicating poverty.
  • In Abia state, Governor Theodore Orji is giving maximum attention to provision of adequate security.

However the South East Political Zone is faced with deep-seated feeling of being marginalized polemical as other zone have 6 or 7 states to their advantage, while the zone have 5. There are also the problems of unemployment, waist management and disposal challenge; and, inadequate and reliable electrical power supply that poses a crippling challenge to both industrial and commercial growth within the region.

Insecurity Challenge In Nigeria: Nigerians In Diaspora Wants Federal Government to Create Platform of Assistance

The Igbos in diaspora has called on federal government of Nigeria to partner with the World Igbo Congress (WIC) to bring a permanent solution to the insecurity challenges facing the nation.

The leader of the association of Ebonyi indigenes in the United State of America, Mr. Humphrey Igwe made the call when he visited the Nigerian Red Cross motherless babies home in Abakaliki. Mr Igwe had also provided some financial support toward the welfare the children of this orphanage home during his visit.

Further in his remark, Mr Igwe stated that the Nigerians in diaspora wants the federal government to provide the platform within which they can operate and offer their expertise knowledge on security matter facing the country. Among his proposals, he pushed for having more state police on the ground.

 

He argued that the present arrangement in Nigeria where state commissioners are control by inspector general of police will not meet the security needs of the country as state governors are not in reality in charge of security situations in their domains.

 

Nigerians spent a whopping $500 million (N78 billion) overseas yearly for medical treatment

Nigeria Medical Association warns about the staggering amount of money (billions)  that Nigeria is losing to foreign countries (especially India) in medical tourism.  Nigeria already facing serious brain drain now faces serious threat from medical tourism.

It is estimated that about  30% of foreign healthcare providers in the united States are from Nigeria. The number is even higher for Great Britain. While U.S and Great Britain  used to have greater share of Nigerians seeking foreign healthcare ; Indian has emerged in the recent years to outperform other countries . It is estimated that 95% of Nigerians traveling abroad for medical treatment go to India.

According to Prof. Onybuchi Chukwu, Nigeria’s Minister of Health, Nigerians spent a whopping $500 million (N78 billion) overseas yearly for medical treatment.

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