Home News Nigeria takes sector-wide approach to strengthen health security – Prof Pate

Nigeria takes sector-wide approach to strengthen health security – Prof Pate

by Haruna Gimba
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By Iyemah David

Nigeria’s Federal Government has intensified efforts to fortify health security infrastructure in response to ongoing global health challenges, Professor Muhammad Ali Pate, the Coordinating Minister of Health and Social Welfare, said.

He said this on Monday in Abuja during the National Dialogue on Nigeria’s Pandemic Fund Grant Application.

The Pandemic Fund, a collaborative initiative aimed at strengthening pandemic prevention, preparedness, and response capacities in low- and middle-income countries, amassed two billion dollars in funding from various stakeholders.

Focusing on early warning systems, disease surveillance, laboratory infrastructure and enhancing public health and community workforce capacity, proposals must address priority areas while accommodating specific regional needs.

Prof. Pate, therefore, outlined the implementation of a sector-wide approach to enhance surveillance, detection and readiness for potential outbreaks, highlighting the establishment of the Pandemic Fund as part of Nigeria’s broader health sector reinforcement initiative.

Emphasising the nation’s commitment to self-reliance in health security, he stressed the importance of domestic investment alongside external support.

Furthermore, he emphasised transparency and accountability, outlining plans for regular health reports and public dialogue to ensure citizen engagement and oversight.

Endorsed at both federal and state levels, comprehensive approach, he said, aimed to foster a unified response to safeguard Nigeria’s population against health threats.

He stressed the need for a unified and coordinated approach to health security, leveraging available resources and expertise to address present and future challenges effectively.

He underlined the need to learn from past pandemics like COVID-19 and underscored the importance of initiatives such as the pandemic plan in improving preparedness and response capabilities.

The minister also stressed the significance of collaboration between national systems, development partners, and organisations like the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) to ensure sustainability in tackling health emergencies.

The pandemic fund was established in September 2022 and officially launched during a G20 meeting, hosted by the World Bank.

It is the first multilateral financing mechanism dedicated to providing multi-year grants to help low- and middle-income countries better prepare for future pandemics.

The Fund received 179 applications from 133 countries in its first Call for Proposals.

The first round of awards was granted in July 2023, totalling 338 million dollars that will leverage over two billion dollars to help 37 countries strengthen their capacity to prevent, prepare for, and respond to pandemics.

Over 30 per cent of the grants allocated are for projects in sub-Saharan Africa and over 75 per cent are in low and lower-middle income countries.

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