The Commissioner for Health in Cross River State, Betta Edu is now the acting National Chairman of the Nigeria Commissioners for Health Forum.
Mrs Edu, a medical doctor, has been the vice chairman of the forum. She stepped into the new position on Thursday in Abuja following the former chairman’s resignation to pick up appointment in a private firm.
Mrs Edu thanked her colleagues for giving her the opportunity to lead the forum and promised to follow in the footsteps of the former chairman, Abea Umar whom she said did a great job piloting the affairs of the forum.
The acting chairman afterwards met with the Minister for Health, Osagie Ehanire where she thanked the minister for the support he has been giving to the forum.
Mrs Edu said topmost on the forum’s agenda would be to see that Nigeria build a more resilient health system and achieve Universal Health Coverage through the implementation of Basic Healthcare Provision Fund and state Health Insurance Scheme in all the states, working with the Federal Ministry of Health, National Primary Health Insurance Scheme.
The forum, she said, would also seek to improve the general public health response of states to the COVID-19 pandemic working in synergy with relevant federal MDAs.
“There would be high level policy dialogues that will put healthcare on the political front burner in all states of the federation, working with the Honorable Minister for Health and the Nigerian Governors forum,” she said.
Mrs Edu said she would push for the establishment of a technical arm of the forum to engage development partners and other key stakeholders.
“We would take advantage of the present pandemic to advance discussions and actions on strategic building of health sector.
“Its COVID-19 today, another pandemic can put more burden on the health system in the future if we do not actively prepare. Building political capital will be crucial for our success, as a forum,” she said.