Dr. Nura Alkali wrote:
just watched the Minister of Health conclude a press conference on NTA, where he advised Nigerians to report suspected cases of the Wuhan coronavirus infection that has killed hundreds in China in recent weeks.
I would have laughed out loud but for the seriousness of this subject. The past five years alone saw cholera claiming thousands of Nigerian lives in Adamawa, Bauchi and Borno states, not to talk of Kano and Niger states, and the FCT.
All it takes to end cholera epidemics is government providing clean water to the public.But politicians don’t want to hear that, since it involves cost-cutting measures by state governors who use public funds to charter planes for frivolous meetings in Abuja and Kaduna. Money that in the UK, US, or even North Korea, would pay for running the state waterworks.
When last did my family home in Yola got municipal water? According to my sister living there, it was in 1991 – the same year of her birth! She heard it from her mother, as she never saw municipal water in our home or the neighbour’s homes all her life.
. To them, water scarcity is solved by the rich and middle-class having boreholes and overhead tanks, and the poor buying barrow-water on daily basis.
No wonder that we are more concerned with Wuhan coronavirus (which hasn’t killed any citizen yet) than with water-borne diseases caused by Vibrio cholerae, E. coli and rotaviruses, which has each killed thousands of fellow citizens in recent years.
Indeed, it is two of a kind. Leaders for show, followers for show, with the health minister educating Nigerians on the dangers of a Chinese sneezing in a plane instead of the risks of contracting cholera from barrow-water bought in Yola, Kano and Abuja.