BY CHIKA OKEKE, Abuja
President Bola Tinubu has approved the adoption, design and domestication of coordinated strategy for the improvement of health outcomes.
The Coordinating Minister, Federal Ministry of Health and Social Welfare, Prof Ali Pate stated this at the just concluded 64th National Council on Health in Ado Ekiti, Ekiti State with the theme: “Building a Resilient and Inclusive Healthcare System for a Healthy Nigeria.”
Pate had shortly after his assumption of office, reeled out four-point agenda that would create an ambitious and realistic blueprint for Nigeria’s healthcare system.
The second agenda was the improvement of population health outcomes, which he believed would address diseases like measles, diphtheria, vaccine preventable diseases and reduce incidences of maternal and neo-natal deaths.
This, was in addition to upgrading infrastructure across the hospitals and ensure that quality of services are measured and made visible.
Pate disclosed that the ministry is currently redesigning the Basic Health Care Provision Fund (BHCPF) established by NHA 2014, to become more effective and efficient in driving the strategic shifts and priority initiatives that would lead to attaining the ambitious goals for the sector.
He reiterated the efforts of the Federal Government in coordinating programmes that would address the determinants of health since most of them are not directly controlled by the sector.
Part of the health outcomes was also to priortise health spending, as rejiging the sector required active collaboration between the government and healthcare professionals.
The minister said that the sub-themes were carefully selected in alignment with the Renewed Hope Agenda of President Tinubu.
He hinted that the health of the people is a fundamental human right, which is a measure of his commitment to equity, justice, and dignity of every individual.
Pate disclosed that achieving Universal Health Coverage (UHC) is not a choice but an obligation and a promise to provide quality healthcare to all Nigerians regardless of their socio-economic status.
“It is the embodiment of our vision for a healthier and more prosperous nation, and a strategic advantage for us as a nation,” he added.
The minister stated that the ministry had embarked on a system-wide initiative by consulting with all relevant stakeholders towards achieving UHC.
This, he said led to a 4-point blueprint with cross-cutting enablers such as effective governance, efficient, equitable and quality health systems; unlocking value chains and health security.
He pointed out that the ministry remains at the forefront of maintaining stability in the health sector and meeting the health needs of Nigerians.
In his address, the Governor of Ekiti State, Mr. Biodun Oyebanji recognised that evidence-based research and development are the foundation of progress in every sector including healthcare.
He stated that through research, the ministry could generate data to guide decision-making and enhance the understanding of health challenges.
The Minister of State, Dr. Tunde Alausa noted that it might be difficult to prevent the migration of individuals for greener pastures, but the government could respond by increasing the number of health workers that graduate from different institutions annually.
He was optimistic that it would reverse the negative impact of the ‘japa syndrome’ in the sector.
The World Health Organisation representative in Nigeria, Dr. Walter Kazadi Mulombo was hopeful that the NCH would leverage on the strength and opportunities on each tier of government to come up with feasible, less complex and sustainable strategies that would work for the Federal and State governments in overcoming the challenges under the Health Sector Renewal Investment Program.
Mulombo reiterated the commitment of WHO towards providing technical support in achieving the healthcare needs of Nigeria, being a member state organisation.
BY CHIKA OKEKE, Abuja