By Muhammad Auwal
The Emir of Gombe, Alhaji Abubakar Abubakar, has urged the traditional institution to lead the advocacy for affordable healthcare services in the country.
Emir Abubakar made the call on Tuesday in Abuja while presenting a paper at a National Health Dialogue organised by Premium Times, an online news platform.
The dialogue, with the theme, “The Role of State and Non-State Actors in Healthcare Funding and Support,” focused on achieving Universal Health Coverage (UHC).
Speaking on “The Role of Traditional Institutions in Achieving Universal Health Coverage for Women and Children,” he described traditional rulers as agents of positive change.
The emir said that the traditional institution had crucial roles to play in the move to achieve affordable healthcare.
“We have demand and supply roles to play, we have to leverage on our local networks and moral authority to mobilise communities and increase demand for quality health services.
“On the supply side, we are also expected to work with the government and development partners to build new facilities or upgrade existing ones,” he said.
According to him, traditional rulers should join other stakeholders to provide adequate workforce to improve quality access to healthcare services at reasonable and affordable cost.
The traditional ruler said there was need for more emphasis on preventive care rather than curative healthcare, saying “this requires investment in both healthcare and education.”
“When the public is adequately educated on health issues, they will be positioned to make informed health decisions.
“An educated and healthy society will have effective workforce and vibrant economy,” he said.
Emir Abubakar said that hard work, determination and commitment were required for the attainment of UHC.
Health Reporters reports that UHC attainment is captured in goal number three of the Sustainable Development Goals.
The goal seeks to ensure access to safe, effective, quality and affordable healthcare.