Nigeria has taken a giant step towards Universal Health Coverage as President Muhammadu Buhari launches the Basic Health Care Provision Fund (BHCPF) and the National Strategic Health Development Plan II in Abuja.
During the Presidential launch of the second National Strategic Health Development Plan (NSHDP), the Minister of State for Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire stated that his administration affirms the Universal Health Coverage as a cornerstone for the health agenda, as the operationalisation of the second National Strategic Health Development Plan & other initiatives will help accelerate the attainment of Universal Health Coverage in Nigeria.
Amongst the people present was a representative of Gates Foundation in Nigeria, who said it is a good sign as this is the first year immunization coverage has increased across the States in Nigeria.
The Country’s representative of World Bank in Nigeria, while speaking on funds to be released for healthcare in Nigeria under the ‘Saving One Million Lives Programme for results,’ urged that the quality of spending be managed and outcome be optimized.
UNICEF representative, Mohamed Fall went on to say that today marks an important milestone in Nigeria’s forward movement towards achieving better health for its people and therefore an achievement of the global Sustainable Development Goals.
He stated that UNICEF has worked with Federal Ministry of Health Nigeria and partners to finalize these documents and will continue to work closely with the Government of Nigeria at all levels to implement and realize expected results.
He further stated that if Nigeria fails to implement the Sustainable Development Goals, the world fails.
ED/CEO, National Primary Health Care Development Agency, Dr. Faisal Shuaib stated that the launch of the BHCPF Implementation will strengthen PHC services as BHCPF will bridge gaps by directly funding health facilities operations and provide additional funding for community based health interventions through the CHIPS agents.
In his words, “We have designed tools to support the primary healthcare workers to utilize the funds in an efficient manner.”
Chairman Senate Committee on Health, Lanre Tejuoso who was also present at the launch said “This is a huge opportunity to make a difference in health outcomes… The successful implementation of the National Strategic Health Development Plan will turn Nigeria to a leader in health outcomes.”
Governor of Ekiti state, Kayode Fayemi speaking on improving healthcare in Nigeria, said “We are determined to join forces with the Federal Government of Nigeria on this.”
Osun state Governor, Alh Isiaka Oyetola committed to improving the quality of healthcare service delivery.