NOTE: This post was inspired by the advocacy campaign, #OfficeofTheCitizen, initiated by Dr Oby Ezekwesili and championed by Enough is Enough (EiE), Nigeria.
“For us passionate to PUSH for EFFECTIVE DETERRENCE/SANCTIONS measures against Corruption, let’s ACTIVATE #OfficeOfTheCitizen. ….It is TIME! As Citizens FIND their Voices — discussing, debating, disagreeing & agreeing — they gain CONFIDENCE to DEMAND ACTION. In Public Discourse the Awakened Citizens have to learn Civility, Civility & more Civility even when disagreeing.”
~Dr Oby Ezekwesili
Week #22. WWN Reflections: This message is for all African women, both at home and in the diaspora, ESPECIALLY THOSE WHO WORK IN THE HEALTH SECTOR. I recently spoke at an event (via a video conference call), with a team of West African women in the diaspora (who work in the health sector), on the issue of Healthcare accessibility and insurance for women, especially for life-threatening issues like CANCER and KIDNEY FAILURE which seem to be affecting a lot of women in Africa.
The challenge is hat due to lack of early screening/detection, and consequently lack of funds to cover the costs, even when detected, these illnesses are cutting short the lives of too many sisters. Too many cases of individuals/groups attempting to raise funds for affected sisters….as well-meaning/welcomed/helpful as these are, a more sustainable, integrated and cohesive approach is needed to solve these myriad of problems.
The main point of my talk was for the need for African women to come together and create strong advocacy groups to hold the government accountable and ensure that there are adequate funding/health insurance programs in place to alleviate the suffering of those with these serious challenges. In Nigeria, for instance, we want to create groups in the 6 geo-political zones to engage the in coming health minister in a structured way and proffer solutions based on our expertise and experiences abroad.
We’re kicking it off with Nigeria and Ghana.
The culture of corruption and bastardization of office by politicians must STOP. We mean serious business. ZERO tolerance for corruption. The real ethos of #OfficeofTheCITIZEN (as coined by Mrs Oby Ezekwesili), must be respected and honoured by leaders and followers alike.
WE must begin to teach our leaders and politicians HOW to treat us, because we (s)elect them to serve us. Whatever we settle for persists. It is time to raise the standards/expectations. No more passive complaining, this is time for taking empowered ACTION! Think of this as buying and joining an aso-ebi group for QUALITY HEALTHCARE.
Too many people are dying senselessly because funds for health, education, infrastructure…are mysteriously ‘finding’ their way to the private bank accounts of politicians. We must change the paradigm of leadership as a pathway to looting public funds. Too many people especially young women in their 30s, 40s….are dying off because our mismanaged health system failed them! A cousin of mine died recently and I got to experience first hand, how dismal and utterly ill-equipped the hospitals are (even our once revered teaching hospitals). ENOUGH is Enough already! (Apologies to EiE, Nigeria 🙂 )
Please, if you are interested in joining these advocacy groups (we currently have two in place: one for health and another for Education), where we collaborate, brainstorm and come up with SUSTAINABLE, PRACTICAL and ACTIONABLE solutions. Do send us a message on Facebook (www.facebook.com/wholewomannetwork) or email: firstname.lastname@example.org for more details.
P.S: On a different, yet related topic, here’s an important message to Nigerian Youths, please stop trekking your future away to celebrate politicians. I appreciate the novelty of the first person who did the trek to celebrate the victory of the coming president, M. Buhari, however, this is now time to tie your trek to something bigger. If you must trek, then TREK FOR A CAUSE that affects your life!! (Yes, trek for employment, trek for quality healthcare, trek for security, trek against corruption and for judicious use of public funds for public good!….). Have an inspired morning y’all. Cyber-Hugs, ❤ Jules
Follow me on twitter: @JulietKego | @wholewomaninc
Love, Light & Truth!
-Juliet ‘Kego Ume-Onyido, MBA (www.julietkego.com)
Poet | Master-Certified Leadership Coach-Trainer -Consultant|
Co-Founder & Executive Director, Whole WoMan Network
Raising a New Generation of Empowered, Transformational & Creative African Leaders
~Take empowered ACTION towards a Healthier, Sexier, Wealthier YOU!~