By Omordia, Efe Alexandra – It’s the decade of mobile telecommunications in West Africa. Everywhere you go, you see people clutching their phones and engaging in animated conversations. The Telecommunication providers have suddenly realized that there is a huge market in West Africa and they are doing all they can to woo the teeming population of men and women who are determined to procreate in large numbers regardless of their financial statuses.
There is the saying over here that says one must give birth to the number of children that God gives. Nice! If everything was in place but alas, it is not the case. Poverty is rearing its head in households where the offspring can’t be counted. It’s a constant struggle in such homes to get the basics like food, clothing and health support and as a result of that mobile health providers have taken over the streets. This phenomenon is not as progressive as that of Mobile Telecommunications as the practitioners are not licensed to provide the service that they seem to be apt at propagating. I was nearly bought over one day when I travelled in Public Transportation.
The gentlemen seller who had wonderful stories to tell of how he cured all known ailments made me sit up and almost fall for his tricks but at the last minute the voice of reason cautioned me and made me wonder why all his gracious clients did not do more for him than to make him seat in a corner reserved for the bus conductor that was very uncomfortable. I figured that if he was doing as well as he claimed that he could have easily afforded a more decent seat than the very uncomfortable one he was in. My cynical musings saved me from falling for the scam.
However, quite a number of my compatriots who are too poor to afford the exorbitant fees necessary to get quality health care are gratefully buying from these mobile “pharmacies” where all sorts of claims are made. The advertisements from the Government warning people not to buy from these hawkers seem not to be making a huge difference and the reason for this is not far-fetched as the alternative is no alternative for the struggling man or woman who often cannot walk into these expensive health establishments to seek treatment.