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Medical tourism: How the Buharis spent 300 days outside Nigeria for healthcare

Nigeria’s immediate past First Family spent a total of 301 days abroad seeking medical attention, at a time the health sector back home is bedeviled by multiple challenges from lack of funding, deteriorating infrastructure through to brain drain and more crucially, corruption.

Former president Muhammadu Buhari, his wife Aisha Buhari and their son, Yusif Buhari formed the trinity within the former First Family that flew in and out of Abuja to Europe and the Gulf for treatment.

Leading the pack was Buhari who spent a cumulative 225 days seeking medical attention, starting February 2016 with an ear infection and ending May 2023 with a dental issue.

In between the two, were a series of routine medical check-ups and a protracted 154 days in 2017 in London for an undisclosed ailment.

Incidentally, with days to the end of his term, Buhari in the company of the First Lady inaugurated a newly furnished state-of-the-art presidential wing of the State House Medical Center, SHMC, at Aso Villa, the presidential complex.

Aisha Buhari during the event restated the fact that with the new facility, there is no need for any president to go for medical care abroad.

A quick look at the budgetary allocation for the SHMC gives a fair idea of how much Nigeria has sunk into securing the healthcare of workers at the presidency.

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