As Nigeria joined the rest of the World to commemorate the Universal Health Coverage Day (UHC Day), the Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire said though the country has poor health indices ,it is still committed to repositioning the healthcare sector to ensure all Nigerians have access to quality healthcare they need without falling into poverty.
The UHC Day is marked annually on December 12. This year’s UHC Day theme is ‘Health for all: Protect Everyone’.
Speaking to journalists during the event, Dr Ehanire in the company of Dr Walter Kazadi Mulombo, the WHO Nigeria Representative (WR) and other partners, noted that “UHC Day reminds us of our most urgent priority: providing quality healthcare services for the wellbeing of our citizens.”
In his message to mark the Day, the Minister said the attainment of UHC is a high priority for the government and reforms are already happening to make quality services available, to more people, with stronger financial risk protection.
“It is everybody’s right to have access to quality healthcare, whenever and everywhere. Any country that wants to have a healthy and viable workforce needs to be able to provide quality healthcare as there is nothing as damaging than an unhealthy population especially from diseases that can easily be prevented.
He said the Federal Ministry of Health (FMOH) and its agencies are working painstakingly to provide better access to higher quality services, increase community demand and improve health systems resilience, towards building the functionality needed to attain UHC.
“It is based on this that the federal government is striving to rehabilitate and revitalize the primary healthcare as the bedrock of development of the health sector. The newly revised BHCPF Guidelines is expected to be used to establish one primary healthcare centre per political ward whereNigerians will be able to access health services with a reasonable financial implication, he explained.
In his remarks at the event, Dr Mulombo said health is a fundamental human rights and no one should be denied quality health services for financial or other barriers.
The WR commending the Nigerian government for on the Basic Healthcare Provision Funds said the country is on track in its attempts to providing access to quality healthcare services for its citizens.
The WR Dr Mulombo said Nigeria is on track with its efforts at providing quality care to the people everywhere anywhere through primary healthcare revitalization and leveraging on the Basic Health Care Provision Funds (BHCPF) which indeed is one of the nine-point next level agenda of Nigeria.
Knowing that health for all requires investments and action by all stakeholders – the WR urged the governments, development partners, civil society, communities and everyone to rally towards achieving UHC so that all people can enjoy good health and well-being.
“At WHO, we are placing emphasis on high impact areas, such as supporting whole-of-system reforms and exploring innovative ways to get more services to people, including using information technology’, he said