FG Pledges Better Funding for Health Sector

FG Pledges Better Funding for Health Sector

Health Sector: The Special Adviser to President Bola Tinubu on Health, Dr Salma Anas, on Wednesday, said plans were underway to improve governance, accountability mechanisms, and transparency in funding allocation and expenditure in the health sector.

Anas stated this in Abuja during the 30th anniversary celebration of “Options,” a global health organisation with the mission of unlocking health prosperity and Universal Health Coverage (UHC) in Nigeria.

She said the government also planned to make the country self-reliant in producing essential medical supplies and vaccines, which necessitated private sector engagement.

She stressed the significance of integrated and comprehensive healthcare services, emphasising the need for a seamless transition from primary, and secondary to tertiary care levels.

For this to happen, the President of the Association for Reproductive and Family Health, Prof. Oladapo Ladipo, urged the federal government to declare health care in the country an emergency.

Ladipo said the government needed to prioritise health and health financing generally in the country to ensure that all Nigerians had health insurance.

“Good health and wellness are the most valuable assets we possess in life. Without physical vitality, mental acuity, and emotional balance, we cannot fully participate in and appreciate the human experience.

“Poor health leads to suffering, expenses, incapability, shortened longevity, and reduced quality of living.

“Prioritising well-being should be at the top of this government’s list; investing in health and wellness provides immense returns like energy, resilience, and an overall optimism that enables us to get the most out of life,” he said.

Dr Festus Omo-Obi, the Regional Director for West and Central Africa at Options Consultancy Services said Nigeria had a solid policy framework.

He, however, noted that the country had a challenge with implementing it effectively, stressing that there was a need for urgency in translating policy into action.

Addressing some of the key challenges facing Nigeria’s journey towards UHC, Omo-Obi acknowledged that funding was a significant concern, particularly in states where counterpart funding for basic healthcare provision was lacking.

Dr Onoriode Ezire, of the World Bank Group, expressed the need for funds to be used judiciously in Nigeria’s health sector.

Ezire posed a few questions on how private health institutions functioned better than the public health institutions, which were supported.

“How many people access public health services,” he queried. He said the reality of accessing health facilities in physical space was narrow.

“There isn’t as much money as people think there is. There must be a creative engagement of the private sector including NGOs. The government must be held accountable,” he said.

Dr Joy Uzoho, Senior Consultant, Health Systems and Financing, said addressing the health sector problems required a multi-sectoral approach. Uzoho said it was time for Nigerians to demand accountability at every instance of health care service. According to her, accountability and advocacy are key to achieving UCH in the country.

She shared insights into capacity-building work with multi-sector accountability mechanisms to help Nigerians track budgets and understand where the funding gaps were.

Options is a global team of experts and innovators tackling some of the world’s most pressing health challenges. It works with leaders and change-makers around the globe to bring health strategies to life.

The organisation also provides ideas, advice and technical know-how that enable the partners to build a path to lasting change.

With 30 years of experience in global health, it collaborates with partners to explore existing evidence, combine expertise, scale up ideas and co-create solutions that accelerate change.

This includes collaborating on policy design, managing initiatives, building powerful coalitions and galvanising social movements.#FG Pledges Better Funding for Health Sector

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