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FG places emphasis on advancing health of Nigerians– Osinbajo

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Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, on Wednesday, said the Federal Government (FG) has placed great emphasis on advancing the health of all Nigerians.

Osinbajo made this known in Abuja during the Launch of the Lancet Nigeria Commission: Investing in Health and the Future of the Nation organised by University College London supported by its local partner, Nigeria Health Watch.

According to him, the FG has put Primary Health Care at the heart of reform efforts.

“This ensures that basic health care service of high quality is delivered to Nigerians irrespective of where they live in the country.

“We believe that the health of all Nigerians matters. We have, therefore, focused interventions on the people living in the rural areas, women and the vulnerable populations.”

Osinbajo also expressed joy at the report put together by Nigerians which established the indisputable linkage between health investment and socio-economic development.

“I am delighted to be here at this occasion to launch this important report- The Lancet Nigeria Commission: investing in health and the future of the nation.

“A seminal work done by a group of Nigerian academics and health policy experts in our top universities and from the Nigerian diaspora.

“A report aptly described as a report by Nigerians for Nigerians. The report established the indisputable linkage between health investment and socio-economic development.”

He said that the report proposed a new social contract centred on health to address Nigeria’s need to define the relationship between the citizen and the state.

Osinbajo maintained that the report further recommended prevention to be at the heart of health policy, given Nigeria’s young population, requiring a whole-of-government approach and community engagement.

He also said the report recommended a “One Nation, One Health” policy to attain Universal Health Coverage (UHC) , which would particularly benefit those segments of the population bearing the highest disease burden.

“An ambitious programme of healthcare reform to deliver a centrally determined, locally delivered health system, including providing health insurance coverage for 83 million poor Nigerians who cannot afford to pay premiums.

“A health system that encourages innovation and engages communities, to ensure that existing nationally driven schemes have local buy-in and are sustainable, and reforming the policy and regulatory landscape to unleash the market potential of the private sector.

“A whole system assessment of the investment needs in Nigeria’s health security, in which the pandemic has exposed weaknesses and that Government should lead the development of standards for the digitisation of health records and better data collection, registration and quality assurance systems.

“And this objective of a new social compact is important if we are to meet constitutional guarantees encapsulated in the right to life to our citizenry and the primary aspiration of the fundamental objectives of the Nigerian States and the well being of the Nigerian citizens.

“We welcome innovation and fresh thinking to further improve Nigeria’s health outcomes.

“This report provides a number of excellent recommendations some of which are already being implemented but many of which we will carefully consider,”he said.

Osinbajo said the timing of publication of the important report was also apt as “Mr President had just inaugurated the Health Reform Committee”.

“The Health Reform Committee which he has asked me to chair and the committee will be benefiting from the input of the experts who authored this report.

“The need to provide our people with Universal Health Coverage led to the enactment of the National Health Act, 2014.

“Based on this important legislation, this government and future administrations are well placed to expand coverage and provide much needed health care.”

He thanked the Health Minister and all health officials for all their work and commitment in advancing the health of Nigerians.

“Our government will continue to promote the welfare of all in the health sector.

“We are also grateful to the commissioners who authored this report and to the Lancet who has provided their global platform to publish this report.

“On this note, I would like to formally launch the Lancet Nigeria Commission Report: Investing in Health and the Future of the Nation,” Osinbajo said.

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