The Nigeria Governors Forum (NGF) and state commissioners of health have met in Abuja to develop strategies to transform primary healthcare delivery in the country. Speaking at the two-day summit, which began on Thursday, the Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire, affirmed that Nigeria was yet to attain the level of providing the quality of healthcare required by its population.
“We know that our country health system does not yet provide the level of quality of service required to meet the population,” he said.
According to the minister, the country was also short in its bid to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), as he noted for instance, that with “the maternal mortality rate of 512 per 100,000 live births and under 5 mortality rate of 132 per thousand birth, that we are far away from reaching sustainable development goal.”
Ehanire noted that with the right approach, appeal, and strategic use of data and resources, the country could achieve the strategic development goal.
The minister was of the view that the country has the potential to become a major player in the global economy because of its human and natural resources endowment, pointing out that that the government is focused on investment in human capital development.
He explained that the development of a functional healthcare system was the foundation of primary healthcare must be complemented by a strong secondary health care system.
“The policy requires that you develop the primary, secondly and a functional health system in every local government area of the state. When all these are not put in place, the connectivity is lost,” Ehanire added.
The Minister urged state commissioners for health to help their chief executives to understand that secondary level of healthcare is as important as the primary one also.
Ehanere disclosed that about 27 states of the federation have now recorded cases of Lassa fever, assuring that the government was doing everything necessary to control the menace.
“I thank states for the cooperation the government has received in an effort to tackle Lassa fever which has reached about 27 states as at the last count and also to have ensured that the popular coronavirus has not entered Nigeria,” the minister stated.
In his remark, the Director General of NGF, Asishana Okauru, noted that the ongoing efforts of the federal government to revitalise primary healthcare in the country, as he observed that it remained the pillar of the healthcare system of any nation.
He said the NGF and development partners have made commitments aimed at promoting stronger collaboration between the state governors and relevant agencies responsible for primary healthcare delivery.
The NGF boss explained that the aim of the summit was to bring the health commissioners into the health priorities of the NGF including the Seattle commitment and strategize on ways to realize the objectives.
By Leon Usigbe,