Representative of the World Health Organisation (WHO) in Nigeria, Dr. Walter Kazadi Mulomb, has charged countries to invest more in health care in order not to leave anyone behind.
He made this known weekend at the Ministerial Press Conference to mark the Global Universal Health Coverage (UHC) with the theme: He Said: “Leave no one behind, invest in health systems for all”.
Mulombo stated that it takes into cognisance evidence-based decisions and practical steps in population coverage on essential health services, and financial protection from poverty due to illness and access to healthcare.
“In August 2017, the WHO Region for Africa at Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe, adopted an action framework to ensure achievement of UHC and the SDGs through the health system. More than ever before, we call for deliberate integrated action across the six building blocks of governance, health workforce; financing, infrastructure, medicines, products, supplies; and information systems at the national and sub national levels.
“This call is particularly more imperative considering the ongoing global struggle to stem the tides of the COVID-19 pandemic. Here in our country Nigeria, we now face not only the challenges of communicable diseases with high burdens of HIV, Tuberculosis, Malaria, and Respiratory Tract Infections, but have increasing cases of non-communicable diseases, including Hypertension, Diabetes, and Cancers.
“We also have frequent disease outbreaks such as Cholera, Lassa Fever, Yellow Fever, Meningitis, etc, and protracted humanitarian crisis in security compromised parts of the country.”
WHO said it will enable the government of Nigeria to significantly increase investment in the health sector so as to relieve households of the heavy burden of out-of-pocket expenditure on health which is still above 70%.
WHO within our mandate and presence in Nigeria will continue to provide evidence-based technical support and expertise to the government and people of Nigeria to achieve the highest health outcomes they desire.
WHO commended the goodwill of Mr. President in championing health reforms by commissioning the Presidential Health Sector Reform Committee under the chairmanship of the vice president.
“This is a unique opportunity we must leverage on while not missing existing opportunities in the Basic Healthcare Provision Fund (BHCPF) towards improving primary healthcare and health security as well as the great potentials in domestic resources within the Nigerian private sector.
“There is a huge opportunity to take stock of the dividends of health and healthcare provided to our people by articulating the annual state of the health report in line with the National Health Act 2014. This will not only showcase the achievements and progress made so far, but will be useful in laying bare key challenges and areas where improvement would be needed,” he said.