By Asmau Ahmad
The Minister of Health, Professor Isaac Adewole, has called on Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) to complement government efforts towards achieving sustainable financing of the health sector.
Director Media and Public Relations of the ministry, Mrs. Boade Akinola stated this in a statement made available to newsmen in Abuja.
She said the minister made the call at a two-day workshop for the establishment of the National Network of Advocacy Champions for adequate health financing (NNACAHF). She also said the workshop was jointly organised by the ministry and the West African Health Organisation (WAHO).
The minister, represented by the Director, Department of Health Planning, Research and Statistics, Dr. Akin Oyemakinde, said for Nigeria to achieve Universal Health Coverage, priority had to be given to the most vulnerable.
He added that other factors such as population coverage, cost coverage and the size of health services to be offered to the people should also be considered.
“With about 60 per cent of Nigeria’s 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 10 years,” he said.
Prof. Adewole said that the Universal Health Coverage Agenda for change through Primary Health Care revitalisation offers great promise in reaching at least 100 million Nigerians with a minimum package of quality PHC services.
He noted that under the PHC revitalisation scheme, each political ward in the country would have at least one functional PHC Centre.
He stressed that the federal government was working hard towards operationalisation of the National Health Act 2014.
The minister said the approval of the National Health Policy 2016 by the Federal Executive Council would fast-track the ongoing development of the National Health Financing Policy and Strategy towards actualisation of NNACAHF.
He emphasised that NNACAHF had been decentralised to 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.