Nigeria’s minister of health, Isaac Adewole, has said that the country’s “Change Agenda for Health” will guarantee access to effective and qualitative healthcare for about 100 million Nigerians.
The renewed health agenda is geared towards achieving Universal Health Coverage through the Primary Health Care program, the minister said.
Mr. Adewole said this at the second plenary session of the 69th World Health Assembly in Geneva, Switzerland, on Wednesday.
“As part of this Change Agenda, Nigeria has also recognized the potential of the health sector to reduce poverty, promote rapid socio-economic development and shared prosperity with its catalytic effect on individual productivity and that relevant process to harness this are being articulated,” Mr. Adewole said.
He said Nigeria would ensure accountability is maintained while creating strong institutions, some of which will be deployed to demonstrate the country’s reprioritization of Non-Commutable Diseases (NCDs) and Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs).
He said Nigeria’s commitment to Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) remained unwavering, and that Nigeria would continue to work on full attainment of MDGs by vigorously pursuing strategies that will improve maternal, new born and child health indices, among others.
Meanwhile, Margaret Chan, Director General of World Health Organization (WHO), has warned of the transboundary nature of diseases and infections, saying “few threats to health are local anymore”.
Mrs. Chan, who gave the warning in her address to the ongoing 69th World Health Assembly (WHA) in Geneva, said good health is key to the attainment of any developmental efforts. According to her, health holds a prominent and central place that benefits the entire 2030 Development Agenda.
“In the final analysis, the ultimate objective of all developmental activities, whether concerning the design of urban environments or the provision of modern energy to rural areas, is to sustain lives in good health,” she said.
She called on nations to adopt the Universal Health Coverage (UHC) which she describes as the target that underpins all others.
“It is the ultimate expression of fairness that leaves no one behind. It also has the best chance of meeting people’s expectations for comprehensive care that does not drive them below poverty line,” she said.