World Bank officials, Saraki, Adewole set for summit on health financing in Nigeria

Health Minister, Isaac Adewole
Health Minister, Isaac Adewole

Members of the World Bank Group, Senate President Bukola Saraki and the Minister of Health, Isaac Adewole will on Tuesday headline a summit on improved healthcare financing model for a sustained investment in the provision of quality healthcare for Nigerians.

The event is being put together by THISDAY newspaper in conjunction with the World Bank Group.

The theme of the summit, scheduled to begin at 10.00 a.m. at the Musa Yar’Adua Centre in Abuja is “Moving Nigeria towards Universal Health Coverage through Appropriate Financing”.

Organisers say the summit aims to galvanise discussions on why the country should prioritise financing of the health sector as a bastion of human capital development critical for the achievement of the Economic and Growth Recovery Plan (ERGP).

According to THISDAY Newspaper Board of Directors, the Summit is significant because Nigeria’s health sector allocation in the national budget has continued to decline over the years despite the increase in disease burden and mortality rates in the country.

It says the Nigerian government spends less on health than any other government of the world, with most health expenditures being out-of-pocket.

Among the World Bank chiefs expected at the summit are the Director, Health Nutrition Population of the World Bank Group, Washington, Olusoji Adeyi; the Country Director, World Bank Nigeria, Rachid Benmassoud, Chair of Global Alliance for Vaccine and Immunisation (GAVI) and Nigeria’s former Minister of Finance, Ngozi Okonjo Iweala; and CEO GAVI, Seth Berkley.

The Chairman, Senate Committee on Health, Lanre Tejuosho, Managing Director, Shell Petroleum Development Company, Osagie Okunbor, President, Global Development Programme, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Chris Elias are also expected to grace the occasion.

Organisers also said the World Bank is involved because “it was concerned that Nigeria spends less on healthcare than almost any other country in the world, resulting in poor Nigerians paying out of pocket for their health.”

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