Nigeria records no fewer than 590,000 new cases of tuberculosis every year.
Prof. Sunday Aderibigbe, a Public Health Physician at the Department of Epidemiology and Community Health, University of Ilorin Teaching Hospital, Ilorin, Kwara State, disclosed this.
Aderibighe made the submission in a paper he presented in Ilorin on Tuesday at the 2023 annual national conference and workshop of the School of Health Educators and Professionals Association in Nigeria.
In the paper entitled: “Addressing contemporary challenges of community health in Nigeria,” Aderibigbe said tuberculosis accounted for more than 10 percent of deaths in Nigeria annually.
He lamented that Nigeria ranked second in Africa and third in the world in the prevalence of tuberculosis.
Aderibigbe urged policy makers and political office holders to implement policies that would improve the lives of Nigerians and erase the negative indices on the state of healthcare in the country.
He stressed that political will, elimination of corruption, poverty alleviation and efficient and effective social system were prerequisites to eliminating community health challenges in Nigeria.
Aderibigbe also noted that community health played a vital role in the well-being of individuals; of families and of societies.
In another paper presentation, Dr. Simeon Olubiyi, a lecturer at the Department of Nursing Science, University of Ilorin, said there was the need to define the philosophical basis of public health.
He explained that this was necessary to facilitate effective monitoring of public health functions as a more secure basis for advocacy of public health funding.
Olubiyi noted that every country should have its unique Community Health Improvement Process as no country could develop without solving issues that hindered its successes.
He advocated for community-tailored interventions, with CHIPs unique to each community.
He said: “It is essential for policymakers, healthcare professionals, and community members to collaborate and prioritise these issues to achieve equitable and sustainable community health outcomes.
“By addressing issues through collaborative efforts, policymakers, healthcare providers, and community members can work towards creating healthier and more equitable communities.”
Olubiyi’s paper was entitled: “Addressing contemporary issues in community health: Rethinking the concept, expectations and conduct of community health services.”
In his contribution, SHEPAN President, Prof. Olufemi Kalesanwo of the University of Ibadan, called for attention on the health needs of adolescents in Nigeria.
Kalesanwo said the conference afforded health educators the opportunity to proffer solutions to challenges in community health.