UHC Day 2020: Group Demands Implementation of Youths and Adolescent Health Policy
The Nigerian Youth Champions for Universal Health Coverage (NYC4UHC) has demanded for a swift ratification and full implementation of the youths and adolescents health policy.
The group made its demands known at a Press briefing held Saturday at the Conference Hall of Belmont Hotel, Wuye District in commemoration of the Universal Health Coverage Day 2020.
The Nigerian Youth Champion For Universal Health Coverage (NYC4UHC) is a youth-led coalition of vibrant, passionate and resourceful young individuals, joining efforts to advocate for quality and accessible health services towards attainment of UHC in Nigeria since 2018, with membership across the six geo-political zones.
Miss. Oyeyemi Pitan (acting chairperson) and Chika Nwankwo (Member) of the group, who jointly signed the release, said NYC4UHC is equally demanding for a clear provision and inclusion of adolescent and young people’s health needs on the Basic Health Care Provision Fund (BHCPF).
“We are also agitating for better investments in health systems strengthening that transcend the immediate, such as comprehensive healthcare, especially at the primary level, which is the first line of defense against outbreaks and the foundation for strong health care systems, which is crucial in setting up emergency response plans so that the current and future pandemics are contained and managed with as little damage as possible,” they said.
According to them, Nigerian youths are following the implementation of the BHCPF closely and demand that the government be target specific; clearly and consistently communicating their commitments to the citizens at all fronts.
“We also call on the government and other stakeholders to jointly fight systemic inequalities by creating social and financial safety nets especially for the most vulnerable in the country,” Pitan and Nwankwo added.
Despite the creation of BHCPF to strengthen PHC infrastructure and for the provision of a basic minimum package of services for all citizens at the point of use, they maintained that, the health situation in Nigeria is still dire.
They said: “Because of weak PHC systems: child mortality rates are high (about 132 children die per 1,000 live births), children still die from preventable diseases like pneumonia, malaria killing about 24000 people and contributing to an estimated 11% of maternal mortality, adolescents and young people are besieged with mental, sexual and reproductive health issues and the older citizens of this country are plagued with non-communicable diseases like diabetes and high blood pressure.”
On 12 December 2012, the UN General Assembly (UNGA) endorsed a resolution urging countries to accelerate progress toward universal health coverage (UHC) – the idea that everyone, everywhere should have access to quality, affordable health care – as an essential priority for international development. On 12 December 2017, the United Nations proclaimed 12 December as International Universal Health Coverage Day (UHC Day) by resolution 72/138.