The Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Adewole has urged National Network of Advocacy Champions to complement Federal Government efforts towards achieving sustainable health financing of the health Sector.
The Minister made this call during a 2- Day workshop for the establishment of the National Network of Advocacy Champions for adequate health financing (NNACAHF),in Abuja.
The Minister, who was represented by the Director, Department of Health Planning, Research and statistics (HPR&S), Dr. Akin Oyemakinde, noted that for Nigeria to achieve Universal Health Coverage, priority has to be given to the most vulnerable, considering population coverage, cost coverage and the size of health services to be offered to the people.
He further said “ With about 60% of our population living below poverty line and most people are living in the rural areas, it is most certain that government has a lot of burden to bear in ensuring a substantial improvement of health indices within the next ten years”.
Prof. Adewole informed that the Universal Health Coverage Agenda for change through Primary Health Care revitalization offers great promise in reaching at least 100 million Nigerians with a minimum package of quality PHC services, adding that each political ward in the country would have at least one functional PHC Centre.
He stressed that the Federal Government is working hard towards operationalization of the NHAct 2014 and with the recent FEC approval of the National Health Policy 2016, it would fast-track the ongoing development of the National Health Financing Policy and Strategy towards actualization of the initiative.
He pointed out that the Health Sector was regarded as a social sector with a lots of public goods which yield to huge inefficiencies and amount to no much economic dividend, adding that this administration has commence the process of changing the perception by presenting health expenditure as investment that yields huge returns to Nigeria’s GDP through creation of jobs and increase in productivity.
He emphasized that the Network has been decentralize to the States and FCT, to enable it connect with similar groups in the Sub- region to ensure cross learning and sharing of ideas and good practices.
He appreciated the effort of the West African Health Organization in supporting the initiative and pledged to work together for the benefit of the Nigeria especially the most in need.
In his remark, the former Minister of Health, Prof. Eyitayo Lambo, said that the Health Financing would lead to GDP growth of the Economic and change the perception about the Health Sector. He further said that the implementation of the National Health Financing Policy would turn the Health Sector to investment hub in Nigeria.
In his Goodwill Message, West African Health Organization (WAHO) Representative, Mbert Diao, said that WAHO would continue to partner with Federal Ministry of Health, members of the organization and all other partners in achieving Adequate Health Financing in the West African region.
Boade Akinola (Mrs.)
Director, Media and Public Relations