By: Emmanuel Ulayi.
Last week Nigeria leadership came together to Launch the Lancet Nigeria Commission and release an elaborate report and analysis with recommendations for health sector.
This launch of the Lancet Nigeria Commission was led by the Vice President of the Federation Prof. Yemi Osibanjo.
The Lancet is one of the World’s oldest weekly period review of general Medical Journal publishing original research articles, review articles, editorials, book review, correspondence, news features and even case report.
Occasionally, it’s editors feel it incumbent upon themselves to name commission about a particular area of concern and this is such scenario.
Speaking during the launching exercise, the Vice President of Nigeria Prof. Yemi Osibanjo, stated that the Lancet Nigeria Commission is aimed at addressing the challenges bothering the Nigeria Health System and to also look into the opportunities that are bound and recommended to the Nigeria government if it’s to achieve Universal Health Coverage.
“This is timely and will motivate government to improve the health services of the Country and fulfill its social contract for its people. Having report captures for what it is at what must motivate government to be more concern about health policy and especially to place policy at the center of a social contract between the Nigerian citizen and the State.”
The Secretary to the State Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha, on his part insisted that there’s a need for a surgical change in the health infrastructure, “you can throw whatever amount of money you want to, if this system remains the way it is then the end product will not be of any benefit to the people of Nigeria.”
Also speaking during the event, the Chairman of the Nigeria Commissioners for Health Forum who also doubles as the Cross River State Honorable Commissioner for Health Dr. Betta Edu commended the Federal Government of Nigeria for this giant stride stating that the Country with this innovation is tilting towards achieving Universal Health Coverage Nigeria needs an overhaul of the health sector. Governance, strategic planning, people centered implementable policies/ programs and infrastructure especially at PHC levels. We need a shift from curative to preventive care this remains a major criteria towards achieving UHC.
“If we must achieve Modern Day Health System in Nigeria, we must as a Country first tackle political volatility, implement developmental plans effectively, prioritize developmental projects over infrastructural projects, improve funding in the health sector, improve community engagement and lastly, stop the corruption that perpetuates a dysfunctional health sector.
The very numerous advantages this exercise will bring not only the health sector of the Nigeria but also the citizens of the Country. “The Launching of Lancet today will bring about positive impacts, strengthening and most importantly serve as a major boast in our health sector and will serve also as a huge advantage to all Nigerians. Our drive towards achieving Universal Health Coverage is beginning. We’re on the right track and our forum will continue to support the President Buhari’s administration to continually boast our health sector.” Dr. Edu added.
Prof. Ibrahim Abubakar, the Dean UCL Health Science expressed his worries over the predominantly financing of the health sector from out of pocket. In his words; “Over 78% of health expenditure today comes from out of pocket which means the poorest Nigerians end up with catastrophic expenditure and this is something we can deal on and needs to be tackle almost immediately.”