Health they say is wealth, Universities play a vital role in shaping the future of a nation by providing education and fostering personal development. In Nigeria today, the area of Students health care often receives inadequate attention by tertiary institutions. That despite the significant impact that physical health have on student’s academic performance and overall well-being, many Nigerian Universities fall short in providing adequate health care services for students. The more we shy away from this topic, the more harm it does to our society and country at large.
This year alone, about two students of two different universities lost their lives due to this particular issue of neglect by School’s Medical Health Centre. These Universities refuse to recognize that physical health issues can significantly hinder a student’s ability to fully participate in academic activities. What then is the essence of going to school if students cannot learn as a result of illness?
Firstly, limited funds are allocated to Healthcare services and facilities. We do not even want to talk about the outrageous fees these students pay each academic section, yet nothing is being done to improve the situation of things. Why then is this happening? Why are there no equipments in the medical centers? Why is there no fuel in the ambulance for emergency? Why are there no drugs available? These questions we ask ourselves daily.
A sad incident occurred in the month of June a 300 level student of Fine Art in Delta State University died, we cannot go into further details as the Vice Chancellor Prof. Andy Egwueanga has set up a committee currently to investigate the circumstances surrounding the unfortunate incident leading to his death. This is coming as students protested the death of their colleagues, insisting it was due to negligence by the school health centre.
Many Nigerian Universities face shortage of qualified healthcare professionals including; doctors,nurses and other medical staff likewise medical equipments, there are literally little or no equipments available in the Medical Health center. In the month of May 2023, a Benson Idahosa University final year student dies due to alleged negligence. The student has been identified as Bruno Chigozie and his schoolmates who shared news of his death, said he was left unattended to for hours at the school clinic which is allegedly unequipped. The nonchalant attitude of the nurses in these medical health centers is what lead to the death of a final year student of Computer Science in BIU …in a situation of life and death the staffs were tossing them around when he was being rushed in. No test was done, no treatment was given, and even when his fellow students tried to take him to another hospital outside of school there was no fuel in the ambulance for this emergency purpose and sadly the student gave up the ghost. Who then are we to blame? Is it the School that refused to employ professionals and make equipments available or is it the fault of the staffs that receives little pay and refuse to work diligently.
Wrong prescriptions are being administered to students who come to the medical centers for treatment. No tests are done basically because there is unavailability of equipments… these not so professionals just basically prescribe drugs for the students. Most of the time there are even no drugs to give. This sucks a lot cause the parents of students pay huge sum for their children’s comfortability but these money are being pocketed by some individuals while the students suffer.
Neglecting health promotion and preventive measures is another issue found in university medical health centers. These centers tend to prioritize treating illnesses and injuries instead of actively promoting healthy habits and preventing health problems. Insufficient awareness programs, health education efforts, and preventive screenings all contribute to the overall neglect of students’ well-being. If all these are put in place, students may likely understand the need to prioritize their health and take care of themselves so that there would be no cause for alarm.
Neglecting student well-being in university medical health centers can have significant consequences. This may result in students receiving delayed or inadequate treatment, leading to prolonged illnesses and compromised recovery, emotional drain, and death.
It can also have a significant impact on students’ mental health. The stress and anxiety resulting from untreated physical ailments can exacerbate mental health issues, leading to a decline in overall well-being. contribute to increased stress, anxiety, and depression among students, negatively impacting their academic performance and overall quality of life.
Some things can actually be done to improve this situation and provide a better learning condition for students which will in turn improve their academic performance.
1.Improve Health Facilities: Universities should invest in well-equipped health centers, to be able to test run and render comprehensive healthcare services to students.
- Incorporate Health Education: It is crucial to include health education in the curriculum, emphasizing preventive measures, healthy lifestyle choices, and the importance of regular check-ups. This will empower students to take responsibility for their physical well-being.
3.Adequate staffing: Employing professional medical doctors and staff that are ready to work and cater for students health issues diligently and promptly.
4.Availability of Drugs in the Pharmacy: proper prescription and availability of drugs for the sick. This will encourage students to visit the health centers when sick to get treatment and be well again.
The neglect of student well-being in Nigerian university medical health centers is a pressing issue that requires urgent attention. Adequate staffing, enhanced health promotion and preventive measures are necessary to address the well-being challenges faced by students. By prioritizing provision of health facilities, incorporating health education, promoting physical activities, and improving nutritional support, Nigerian universities can create a healthier environment for students.
Additionally, increased funding and policy reforms are crucial to ensure that university medical health centers can fulfill their role in safeguarding the health and well-being of Nigerian students. Only through comprehensive and student-centered healthcare services can universities truly support the holistic development and success of their students.
By: Odiegwu Peculiar Amarachika.Share this story to friends