By Danlami Nmodu
This is a survey that will be of interest you:a poll has revealed that malaria is the top health concern among Nigerians.The outcome of an NOI poll said Nigerians perceive malaria and typhoid fever r as priority health issues for them.
“In the nationwide survey ,conducted in February 2014 by NOIpolls,78 percent of residents ranked malaria and typhoid as their biggest health concerns .Diabetes ranked a distant second at 12 percent and cancer was third at 10 percent .Despite the high profile often given to HIV/AIDS and polio,those diseases received among the lowest ranking by the public,7 percent and 2 percent respectively” a press release made available on Friday by the Hala Nigeria Project said.
Also,” when asked which health issues they would most like government to address, more than one-third of the respondents said they would like government to spend more money building health facilities near their homes” the press release said.
Details of the poll were announced by the Hala Nigeria team including Declan Okpalaeke, Knight Fellow and coordinator of the African Health Journalism Association;Babatunde Akpeji, a Knight Fellow for Citizen Journalism Project and Cece Fadope,Knight Fellow for Health Journalism.Also at the briefing held at the Excel Hotel and Resort ,Abuja was Christiana Ogbe,head of polling services,NOIPolls ,Nigeria.
Dr Omokhudu Idogho,programme director ,Society for Family Health Nigeria who made his perspective on the poll known by telephone, noted that the outcome of the poll was indeed “surprising” .He noted however that 50% of the people who usually think they have malaria do not test positive in hospitals, an indication that perception of what people think ,may be different from the reality .
In the press release ,Idogho actually noted that “it is surprising that malaria still ranks high despite on- going efforts to address it through mosquito control,bed net campaigns, and availability of treatment.” He added that the poll indicate “ a need for more quality ,accessible and locally relevant information about prevention”.
“The Hala Nigeria (Speak out ,Nigeria) is a project of the International Center for Journalists(ICFJ)in collaboration with the Nigerian partners ,including the African Health Journalists Association and the Society for Family Health Nigeria(SFH).The project’s goals are to improve public information on health matters ,increase public engagement on health issues and amplify citizens’ voices in health news” the press release said.
It quotes Patrick Butler,ICFJ’s vice president as having observed that “This survey gave ordinary Nigerians a chance to speak on health matters that mean the most to them…Now that they have spoken, journalists and health officials can take note as they seek to address public concerns”.