Nigeria’s Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo, has urged the World Health Organisation to make Nigeria one of the priority countries on its list.
According to a press statement from WHO, Mr Osinbajo made the request when he received in audience the Director-General, Tedros Ghebreyesus, Regional Directors and other Global Policy Group members of WHO at the Presidential Villa on Wednesday in Abuja.
Mr Ghebreyesus was in Nigeria for WHO’s Global Policy Group (GPG) meeting which was held for the first time in the country.
The vice president said Nigeria is in a challenging times and in the next decade or two, will have more challenges given that the population is rapidly growing.
“This calls for a lot of work especially with regards to health of our citizens. Our focus on universal health care is in line with WHO’s vision and is one that we have chosen deliberately and there is no question in our minds that it is the way to go,” he said.
On polio eradication, Mr Osinbajo assured the WHO leaders that Nigeria is working with relevant stakeholders with a fair amount of success to reach vulnerable children in areas made inaccessible due to insecurity, adding, “We want to be as vigorous as possible and progress achieved will be irreversible”.
Earlier, the WHO’s Director-General in his remarks stated that Nigeria is a critical partner on the global stage because the country is driving health policy on the continent.
He also re- pledged WHO committed to supporting Nigeria’s efforts on improving health care for vulnerable populations.
“Nigeria’s leadership has shown great vision in promoting universal health care coverage with the expansion of primary health care centre,” he said.
Matshidiso Moeti, WHO Regional Director for Africa, in her remark urged the Nigerian government to transition the huge investments by donors and partners beyond polio eradication to saving lives and impacting positively on people’s health.
WHO for the first time held its Global Policy Group (GPG) meeting in Nigeria.
The GPG consists of the Director-General, the Deputy Director-General and six Regional Directors.
The group is an internal advisory mechanism to the Director-General, established to ensure the coherent implementation of decisions, policies and strategies of WHO across all levels of the Organisation.
Ayodamola Owoseye is a senior reporter covering the health beat for PREMIUM TIMES. She is a graduate of the University of Ibadan, and holds a B.A in Anthropology and M.Sc in Information Science.
Ayodamola advocates gender equity and loves travelling and listening to old skool music. Twitter: @damolaowoseye