WHO Applauds Nigeria’s Initiative Towards Attaining UHC

President Bola Tinubu has received praise from Dr. Tedros Ghebreyesus, the Director-General of the World Health Organization (WHO), for launching Nigeria’s Health Renewal Initiative.

He labeled the project a turning point for Nigeria and all of Africa.

Ghebreyesus said the scope of the nation’s aspirations was an example for other Africans in a congratulatory message on Tuesday in honor of Universal Health Coverage (UHC) Day.

According to Ghebreyesus, the initiative, when implemented, will send a powerful message throughout the continent that UHC is possible and can be done.

“If a country as large and complex as Nigeria can achieve UHC, then anyone can, and I am especially pleased to see that all levels of government and sectors were represented.

“You have understood that achieving UHC is not the job of the ministry alone but a collective work,” he said.

He noted that the country was not starting from scratch because it was building on investment and gains it had over the years.

“Nigeria has many achievements of which to be proud of including intercepting transmission of wild polio virus, managing COVID-19, improving immunisation coverage, expanding health insurance, reducing the burden of HIV, malaria and TB and responding to multiple diseases,” he said.

According to him, the health renewal compact signed on Tuesday was a powerful commitment to build on those achievements that were very important as the country’s current growth goes as 2.5 per cent .

Ghebreyesus said that the population of Nigeria was predicted to double by 2050.

“As we always say, UHC is a political choice and it is a choice you are making, but it is not a choice that is just on paper, it is made in digits and policy decisions inside and outside the health sector.

“Most of the achievements were made by investing in primary healthcare which is the most inclusive, cost effective and efficient part.

“Investing in primary healthcare means investing in the people to leverage the health, and care workers are the backbone of every health system,” he said.

According to him, it is a welcome fact that the Nigerian government is working the talk with the health sector renewal investment initiative.

He thanked the WHO Representative to Nigeria, Dr Walter Mulombo, for his work in the country.

Ghebreyesus said that he had planned to be in Abuja, but had to go for a medical check up.

According to him, his doctor asked him not to move and as such one should always listen to his or her doctor.

“Given that this is an important event, I really wanted to be in Nigeria.

“I congratulate you President Bola Tinubu for your election into the office.

“l look forward to working with you and your government in the months and years ahead.

“I thank Prof. Ali Pate, Minister of Health and Social Welfare, for his leadership and partnership for health in so many different capabilities over so many years,” said the WHO boss.

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