By Asma’u Ahmad
The Federal Government on Tuesday reaffirmed its commitment towards achieving the Universal Health Coverage (UHC).
The government said the inauguration of Basic Health Care Provision Fund (BHCPF) tagged “huwe’’ by the Ministry of Health was its strong demonstration of the commitment.
The Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Adewole, said this in a statement signed by Mrs Boade Akinola, Director Media and Public Relations of the ministry in Abuja.
The UHC was adopted by member states of WHO as a roadmap to providing accessable, affordable, efficient and qualitative healthcare services to citizens.
The statement quoted the minister to have made this known in his message to Nigerian Delegates at the 71st World Assembly of World Health Organisation in Geneva.
Adewole said that the BHCPF would be financed by one per cent of Nigeria’s consolidated revenue fund. He noted that `huwe’ was an Ebira word, which means life, adding that this has already been approved by the National Assembly (NASS).
Adewole said the BHCPF was a fund allocated by NASS to address the basic health needs of Nigerians, adding that the fund marks the beginning of Nigeria’s journey to UHC.
The minister renewed government resolve to strengthen partnership with WHO and other actors in global health including the Nigerian Private Sector.
The statement also quoted the Director-General of WHO, Dr Tedros Ghebreyesus, saying that the UHC is the only way for governments to address the health needs of its citizens.
He said that strengthening the health systems everywhere was important to the prevention of future outbreaks of Ebola and other diseases.
The director-general however noted that the spread of Ebola in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) to an urban city was a concern to WHO.
He said the WHO has agreed that the spread of Ebola in DRC has not reached a global emergency status as the problem was being tackled by WHO and the government of DRC.
He said that preventive high risk population targeted vaccination had commenced in DRC which would make the situation better than the 2014 Ebola outbreak.