Sun. Oct 20th, 2019

Reforming Nigeria’s health sector: The issues and suggested solutions

2 min read

I have just returned from a week-long visit to Nigeria after a long hiatus. I was a guest of the NMA at its 58th annual conference which had our former Health Minister, Dr. Lambo, a very passionate advocate for healthcare as keynote speaker. The VP Osinbajo and Senate President Saraki a non-practicing physician were present but both left before the gripping keynote was given. I had opportunities to see a few of our health institutions, interact with health professionals and had multiple media studio interviews to share my experiences. Things have changed since I last worked in Nigeria. I heard stories of petty and unnecessary turf protection which are deleterious to patient care. Trade Unions are asking for redefinitions of established norms in the medical world and confusion reigns.

Our population is now estimated to be close to 200 million and more than half of these below the age of 65 years. A demographic time bomb. 1 in 10 Nigerian children below the age of five years die annually (2300 every day), the Maternal mortality rate of 814 per 100,000 live births by 2015 estimates making our neighbor, Ghana a sub-regional paradise for expectant mothers at 319/100,000. That figure is by the way 4/100,000 for Italy. Overall, life expectancy is 54 years in Nigeria and 62 years in Ghana. The parody cake of our missteps in health planning and delivery has as icing the Webometric ranking of Hospitals. That our top-ranked hospital was the Psychiatric Hospital in Aro (2091 position in the world and 6th best in Africa) says much of our mental state.  Read More

Valimail, the world’s leader in automating email authentication, recently released an original research report on the email authentication preparedness of the global healthcare industry. Valimail found that the overwhelming majority of large health organizations are susceptible to “spoofing” of their own email domains, also known as impersonation attacks, which are a leading vector for cyberattacks.

Valimail analyzed the primary domains for 928 health care companies around the world (including hospitals, medical equipment & supply makers, pharmaceutical manufacturers, pharmacies, and physicians/health practitioners) with revenues of at least $300 million annually. Valimail found that 121 of these companies (13 percent) have begun to protect themselves by using Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting and Conformance (DMARC), which detects and prevents email spoofing.

Similar to other industries studied by Valimail, less than 15 percent of healthcare companies that deploy DMARC succeed in getting to enforcement — a DMARC setting that actually protects domains against impersonation attacks — so the overall rate of enforcement in global healthcare is 1.7 percent. Read More

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