The Country Representative, World Health Organization (WHO) Nigeria, Dr. Walter Mulombo has expressed concern over the slow progress being made by the world in attaining the set goal of Universal Health Coverage, just as the global body commended the Federal Government’s new Nigeria Health Sector Renewal Initiative.
Mulombo, who spoke during activities to commemorate 2023 Universal Health Coverage Day, in Abuja, on Tuesday, described the new Nigeria Health Sector Renewal Initiative as an example of how governments of nations should work in line with global best practices, saying that “the new investment initiative provides the hope that will change the course in Nigeria.”
He encouraged the leaders of African nations to emulate Nigeria in its health sector reform, stating: “If we can do it in Nigeria, it would influence Africa and create a ripple effect globally.’
Coordinating Minister of Health and Social Welfare, Dr. Muhammad Pate at a press briefing after the walk, said the aim of Universal Health Coverage is to ensure that no one was left behind in access to affordable quality healthcare services.
According to the minister, “The Universal Health Coverage Day is important because it takes into consideration the needs of all people regardless of their income, where they live, gender, and other differences,” adding that it is a day for everyone to think about how to move and ensure that there is universal access to quality healthcare services.
The minister stated: “What we did this morning, walking from the Unity Fountain to the Ministry of Health is an example of actions that individuals can take to take care of their own health to ensure that they are fit, they exercise and eat well, they don’t engage in risky behavior that exposes them to illnesses.”
He said Universal Health Coverage was a political decision, adding that nations must decide and be determined to provide healthcare support for vulnerable citizens.
He assured that the Federal Government is committed to work towards it but it also needs partnership with state governments, development partners, Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) and the media to think positively.