By Iyemah David
Health experts rose from their 64th Council on Health (NCH) gathering in Ado-Ekiti, Ekiti state on Friday, with a resolution to improve the lives of Nigerians tremendously.
The Coordinating Ministry of Health and Social Development, Prof. Muhammad Ali Pate said it has approved key resolutions presented on Thursday which are designed to build a resilient and inclusive healthcare system in Nigeria.
Speaking at the end of the meeting of the 64th NCH on Friday in Ado-Ekiti, the Coordinating Minister of Health and Social Development, Prof. Muhammad Ali Pate, said that the resolutions were the most important things to happen to the health and well-being of Nigerians.
Pate said that these resolutions include various actions and policies that the ministry and related agencies and parastatals would undertake to improve healthcare in the country.
“Some of the key resolutions include securing bilateral relationships with Nigerian migrant health workforce destination countries, adopting and implementing training courses on maternal and child nutrition, conducting impact assessments of NCH resolutions, adopting public-private partnerships in healthcare infrastructure,” he said.
Others are the implementation of policies for the prevention and control of non-communicable diseases and the establishment of budget lines for family planning.
According to the minister, “We are concerned about the high out-of-pocket expenses Nigerians experience to access medicines and other pharmaceutical products.”
He said that the administration of President Tinubu, as part of its Renewed Hope Agenda, was keen to find ways to reverse the hardship facing Nigerians in this regard.
Prof. Pate disclosed that the ministry was also working towards policy actions that may address the high prices of medicines, especially for the most vulnerable Nigerians.
“This morning, on the margins of the 64th NCH, I met with representatives and CEOs of Pharmaceutical Companies in Nigeria to listen and understand better their perspectives so that we find workable solutions in the national public interest.
“A critical focus of our Health Sector Renewal is unlocking value chains. Towards this, Mr President recently created the ‘Unlocking Healthcare Value-Chain Initiative’,” he said.
He said that this administration intended to stimulate private sector-led, sustainable, local production of critical health products.
“We have scheduled an invitation-only meeting next week with the key national actors in the industry to follow up and find workable solutions,” he disclosed.
Meanwhile, the minister disclosed that a total of 626 delegates participated in the meeting, including representatives from federal and state health ministries, development partners, civil society organizations, and the media.
“The technical session preceding the council meeting involved seven technical presentations and the consideration of 82 memoranda,” he said.