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“The harsh economic times in Nigeria is currently forcing humanitarian organizations to do the absurd. For instance in the health sector, all the good virtues of Florence Nightingale, the mother of nursing, have been thrown into the abyss. Medical doctors act on patients no matter how critical the condition, based on the colour of their currency bill” (This Day, August 18, 2016)
“A disturbing but common practice in many developing countries is the detainment of women who have recently given birth and who cannot afford their hospital charges”
(This Day, August 18, 2016)
Stories of patients being held hostages at medical facilities due to their inability to offset their medical bills abound across the breath of Nigeria.
Such were the cases of Mrs. Charity Ekezie, Miss Chika Okafor, Mr. Eke Ukaonu and Mr. Chimuanya Nwachukwu, just to mention but a few.
Cancer has been found to be a leading cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide, accounting for 14 million new cases and 8.2 million deaths in 2012 (1). According to World Health Organization, the number of new cases is expected to increase by as high as 70% over the next two decades (2). Cancer is a major public health problem worldwide with a high morbidity and mortality rate, affecting people of all color, age, and sex. Over 60% of the global total new cases of cancer yearly occur in Africa, Asia and Central and South American; and these regions account for 70% of the global cancer deaths (1). The risk of certain cancers such as breast cancer increases with age. Breast cancer has been found to be the most common cause of death from cancer among white, black, and Asian / Pacific Islander women (3).
According to World Health Organization’s report on disability published in 2011, about 25 million Nigerians had at least one disability, while 3.6 million of these had very significant difficulties in functioning.
According to the Vice President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Professor Yemi Osibanjo, about 110 million Nigerians still live below the poverty level.
(Vanguard, August 20, 2015).
Considering the above reports, disability in itself is a challenge how much more in a country where more than half of the population are living below poverty level which exposes them to extreme difficulty in accessing better life. The plight of the disabled in Nigeria is better imagined than experienced.
The need to improve the plight of the physically challenged in Nigeria is an issue of great concern that requires a declaration of a state of emergency by the federal government. This is the reason for our campaign to create awareness to the ugly situation faced by the physically challenged persons in the country. The level of disregard by the system of these fellow citizens in our society can easily be seen in the way our social infrastructures are built as most of them do not make for easy access to the physically challenged such as transportation, public restrooms, buildings, etc.