WHO works with legislators to improve universal health coverage and health security. – Nigeria
Abuja May 28, 2021 – Lawmakers from the National Assembly, State Assembly chambers, and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) converged at the Transcorp Hilton Abuja from May 23-25, 2021 for the Fourth Legislative Summit on health.
Every year since the first summit was convened in July 2017 (except 2020 due to COVID-19), lawmakers have come together to enforce their statutory functions of legislation, ownership, oversight (accountability) and representation. in order to make health a priority on the government agenda. A major outcome of the Summit is the Legislative Health Agenda (LHA) with achievable milestones and timelines for implementation at national and state levels. The LHA details critical interventions for legislative action that will support the achievement of UHC and health security in Nigeria.
The theme of the 2021 Summit which was chaired by the President of the Senate, Senator Ahmed Lawan and represented by the Deputy Chief Senate Whip, Senator Sabi Aliyu, is “Universal health coverage and health security, two sides of the same coin. medal for a health system “.
“This summit comes at a time when COVID-19 has exposed fractures in global and even Nigerian health systems, demonstrated by apparent disruptions to the economy and the delivery of essential health services,” said Dr Walter Kazadi Mulombo, WHO Representative in Nigeria. (WR) at the Summit.
“WHO, as part of its mandate under GPW13 and the Transformation Agenda, is committed to supporting Member States in achieving the health agenda of their choice. With restructuring underway, including here in Nigeria, intensifying political leadership as a means to accelerate UHC and health security was therefore seen as an appropriate strategic shift. ” He added.
In concluding his remarks, Dr Kazadi pledged WHO’s support to develop appropriate accountability mechanisms to monitor the implementation of the Legislative Agenda for Health and to extend good practices to other countries.
Earlier in his remarks, Nigeria’s Vice President Professor Yemi Osinbajo, represented by Minister of State for Health Senator (Dr) Olorunnimbe Mamora, reassured Nigerians of the government’s commitment to UHC and health security.
“Achieving universal health coverage for all Nigerians and in particular for the most vulnerable Nigerians is at the heart of this administration’s human capital development initiative. Our experience over the past year of COVID19 in Nigeria has revealed the vulnerability of our health system and the importance of the preparedness, diagnosis and response mechanism. The Federal Ministry of Health is committed to achieving universal health coverage for all citizens through the Basic Health Care Provision Fund (BHCPF), revised to provide a minimum set of basic health services much richer, in order to meet the common health needs of all citizens. “
In a welcoming address, the Chairman of the Senate Health Committee and head of the Legislative Network for Universal Health Coverage (LNU), Senator Ibrahim Yahaya Oloriegbe, said the purpose of the summit was to review progress made on the report. to the legislative program for health. during the last summit in 2019 on the development of priorities for the coming year for the improvement of the Nigerian health system. He highlighted the challenges of the system, including COVID-19, and thanked all development partners who supported the Summit.
First Adviser and Deputy Head of Delegation to the Delegation of the European Union to Nigeria and ECOWAS (EU), Mr. Alexandre Borges Gomes, in his message of goodwill, reiterated the support of the EU and urged the Government of Nigeria to enhance strategic investments for UHC and health security. “The EU shares the very real concern, a fear, about the impact of COVID-19 on the maintenance of essential health services. Routine immunization has suffered, which is not staying well in states in Nigeria where rates are already extremely low. Healthcare is a costly business and Nigeria, one of the countries in the world with the worst health indicators, also has one of the lowest expenditure ratios. It would be essential for the sector to be given priority at the same time the appropriations are set if we are to have something like minimally efficient and responsible service delivery ”.
The 3-day event which was supported by development partners including WHO with funding from the European Union (EU), was honored by the Vice-President, Prof Yemi Osinbajo, represented by the Minister of State for Health, Senator (Dr) Olorunnimbe Mamora, Speaker of the House of Representatives Rt. Hon. Femi Gbajiabiamila who was represented by the Chairman of the Chamber of Health Services Committee, the Hon. Tanko Sununu and the Chairman of the Senate Committee on PHC and Communicable Diseases, Senator Chukwuka Utazi.