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Nigeria accelerating progress towards universal health coverage – Minister

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Universal health coverage was the central message at the opening of the 71st World Assembly of World Health Organization, WHO, in Geneva, Switzerland, with a call for  health systems strengthening across the Nations.

The global community under the United Nations has committed to try to achieve universal health coverage (UHC) by 2030, as part of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Universal health coverage is the reflection of the political commitment of countries towards health.

Addressing the Assembly, the Director General of WHO, Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said, strengthening the health systems everywhere was important to prevention of future outbreaks of Ebola and other diseases.

He noted that although the spread of Ebola in the Democratic Republic of Congo,( DRC) to an urban city is a concern to WHO, it has agreed that it has not reached a global emergency status as the problem is being tacked by WHO and the government of DRC. He said that preventive high risk population targetted   vaccination has commenced in DRC and this makes the situation better than the 2014 ebola outbreak.

He promised that the WHO will not settle for a world where the people would have to chose between health and poverty as a result of out of pocket expenses on healthcare.

He said Universal Health Coverage, (UHC )was the only way by which governments can address the health needs of their citizens.

In his message to the Nigerian Delegation to the  WHA, the Health Minister, Isaac Adewole noted that the Nigerian government  was on the right direction in its efforts to achieve UCH with the strong political  will demonstrated by the President Mohammadu Buhari led Administration which has resulted in the launch of the Basic Health Care Provision Fund (BHCPF) tagged ‘ huwe ‘ to be financed by the 1% of the country’s Consolidated revenue fund, already approved by the National Assembly. Huwe is an Ebira word which means life.

The BHCPF is a fund allocated by NASS to address the Basic Health needs of all Nigerians. This, according to Adewole marks the begining of the journey to UHC in Nigeria

According to a statement by Mrs Boade Akinola, from the ministry of health, the minister  further expressed the resolve of the Nigerian government to strengthen partnership with WHO and other actors in global health including the Nigerian Private Sector.

 

 

 

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