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‘Investment in health imperative for economic growth, poverty reduction’

by Haruna Gimba
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By Muhammad Amaan with agency report

The Society for Family Health (SFH) said investing in health was imperative for economic growth and poverty reduction.

This assertion was made by the Managing Director, Dr Omokhudu Idogho, in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria, on Sunday in Abuja in commemoration of 2024 World Health Day.

World Health Day is a global health awareness day celebrated annually on April 7 under the sponsorship of WHO as well as related organisations.

NAN reports that the theme for the 2024 edition is ‘My Health, My Right’, noting that WHO chose the theme’ to champion the right of everyone, everywhere to have access to quality health services, education, and information.

It is also to ensure that everyone has access to safe drinking water, clean air, good nutrition, quality housing, decent working and environmental conditions, and freedom from discrimination.

According to him, health care is a right for rich or poor and Universal Health Coverage would deliver better health outcomes and ensure that the rights of every citizen are respected irrespective of country or region.

Idogho also said that the theme for the 2024 WHD reflects SFH’s commitment towards ensuring that communities have access to quality, affordable and available healthcare services.

According to him, for the SFH, achieving UHC and equity is central to reaching the global goals by 2030 as well as boosting shared prosperity.

He noted that everyone should have access to affordable, quality health services.

Adding, “Our commitment is universal, and we are putting more investment towards expanding access to vital services for poor women and children.

“This investment has been through many models which serve our different customers. Through strong support to national and local leadership and long-term commitment, we invest more than required to achieve and sustain UHC.”

Idogho also said no one should be forced into poverty, or kept in poverty to pay for the health care they need, stressing that lots of Nigerians were forced into poverty because of out-of-pocket health care costs.

He said SFH is working closely with various governments to ensure that it advocates and provides evidence-based data that shows a basis for enacting policies that redistribute resources and reduce disparities in access to affordable quality care.

He also said that countries must harness investments in other sectors beyond health, which provides the essential foundations for a healthy society.

“Achieving UHC requires solutions beyond the health sector, including investments in people, like education and social protection, roads, water and sanitation, and information technology.

“Strengthening the quality and availability of health services depends not only on highly skilled professionals but also on community and mid-level workers who constitute the backbone of primary health care.

“So, at SFH we are working with diverse partners to ensure that we close the disparities in accessing healthcare services,” he added.

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