The World Health Organisation (WHO) has suggested that the Nigerian Government observes a radical shift from mere concepts to clear actions with measurable results in consolidation with the prioritized primary healthcare and health financing as accelerators towards achieving UHC and the SDGs.
The WHO Representative in Nigeria, Dr. Walter Kazadi Mulombo made the recommendation in a goodwill message presented at the 64th National Council on Health (NCH), Ado Ekiti, Ekiti State with the theme “Building Resilience and Inclusive Healthcare System for a Healthy Nigeria.”
Mulombo reminded the Council of the dire need to reform Nigeria’s health sector considering the burden of out-of-pocket expenditure on health which is the highest in the region, a growing burden of non-communicable diseases on the background of high burden of communicable diseases, high maternal and childhood mortality rates, an unpredictable landscape in terms of multiple health emergencies, and a growing population.
“My expectation therefore is for this NCH to leverage on the strengths and opportunities of each tier of government to come up with feasible, less complex, and sustainable strategies that will work for the Federal and State Governments, in overcoming these challenges under the Health Sector Renewal Investment Program,” the WHO Rep. stated.
He spoke superlatively about the sub-themes of the 64th NCH which centre on the critical issues of health workforce, evidence-based research and development, health systems governance and access towards Universal Health Coverage (UHC), digital transformation in health, and innovative financing.
“The NCH, as you know, provides a unique opportunity for the leaders of the Federal Ministry of Health and the State Ministries of Health with support from partners to evaluate implementation, co-create new ideas, and take far-reaching decisions on the future of the health sector in Nigeria.”
While advocating a whole-of-society approach to health that aims at ensuring the highest possible level of health and well-being and their equitable distribution, Mulombo re-established the commitment of the WHO, towards providing technical support, as a member state organization, towards the healthcare needs of the country.
“Our emerging 4th Country Cooperation Strategy has taken inspiration and direction from the health priorities of the renewed hope agenda, and the 4 strategic pillars of the Health Sector Renewal Investment Program of the Federal Ministry of Health.
“I am glad that our network of field offices is already responding to the ever-changing contextual needs of the 36 States and the Federal Capital Territory.
“In the spirit of this effective partnership, it is my hope that rising from this historic event, together, we all will be more empowered and inspired towards promoting health, providing health, and protecting the health of all Nigerians without leaving anyone behind,” Dr. Walter Mulombo enthused.