By Muhammad Auwal
The German Minister of Health, Mr Jens Spahn has announced 30.5millon euros support to Nigeria to end polio, enhance health security and strengthen the country’s health system.
Spahn said the parties (Nigeria and Germany) discussed on the eradication of polio where Germany was strongly cooperating with Nigeria to end the disease.
The minister added that the bilateral dialogue has identified five hospitals in Nigeria that would be supported by Germany’s Ministry of Economic Development as pilot scheme of the train-the-trainer concept towards better healthcare delivery.
He said the collaboration between the two countries would involve fight against infectious diseases adding that the German and Nigerian centers for disease control are cooperating to strengthen and harness health security.
He said the funding was about 30million euros in the area of polio eradication while the area of hospitals, agriculture, education, and Skills Acquisition would receive about 500,000 euros at the moment.
Nigeria’s Minister of health, Dr Osagie Ehanire said the ministry has received group of visitors from Germany lead by the German Minister of Health, Secretary of State from Germany and German Ambassador to Nigeria.
Ehanire said the bilateral dialogue was hinged on technical cooperation towards strengthening the Nigerian healthcare system.
He added that dialogue has focused more on public health issues and improvement of Nigeria’s health system where Nigeria need the cooperation and expertise of Germany to be able to make progress.
The minister said Nigeria need more support from Germany in the areas of patient transportation, e-health, mobile health, enhancing the healthcare system of Nigeria and service delivery.
Dr Ehanire noted that the German Government was providing support in health, agriculture, education particularly in vocational education which Nigeria currently need to reduce migration to Europe.
According to him, Nigeria has a domestic challenge with maternal mortality which it was trying to address, stressing that government was exploring areas of partnership with Germany and other partners to stem the challenge.
The health minister lamented over brain drain and migration of Nigeria’s medical doctors to Europe, adding it was an unfortunate incidence because Nigeria spent huge amount of money to train doctors and nurses.
“When we lose them it means we are losing a lot of money to Europe and America,” he said.
The minister said that lack of opportunities was a driving factor for doctors and nurses migration, he however emphasised that government would contain the challenge.
Ehanire said Nigeria has also requested for medical experts on surgery, Oncology, and other medical sciences from the German delegation who would volunteer to boost service delivery in the country.