By Tobias Lengnan Dapam
The federal government said the Health Sector Next Level Agenda is targeting the reduction of health-related gaps in Sustainable Development Goals by 60%.
The Minister of Health, Osagie Ehanire
made this known on Monday in Abuja, at a media engagement tagged; Buhari’s Health Sector Next Level Agenda: The path to Universal Health Coverage.
He said the sector which set out nine agenda will witness implementation of the expanded Primary healthcare service, mandatory health insurance and operationalization of the National Emergency Medical Service & Ambulance System.
“We will ensure revamping of Federal tertiary hospitals. Expert Advisory Committees of FMoH are working on ways to empower the National Tertiary Health Institutions Standards Committee, reduce current imbalance between primary, secondary and tertiary health care and ensure active private sector involvement in the health sector.
“Health Insurance for the elderly and retirees is currently under review. We have developed and deployed for use, the National Master Facility List: a Health Facility Registry with information on public and private health facilities in Nigeria.
“The Federal Ministry of Health is working to strengthen accountability and transparency, with establishment of Electronic Medical Records (EMR) at Federal Tertiary hospitals, for efficiency and accountability in service delivery and a framework that mandates quarterly financial reporting on critical funding lines, in line with the provisions of the National Health Act 2014.
“Traditional, Complementary & Alternative Medicine has generated much attention in the wake of COVID-19 outbreak. Government has established a Department of Traditional, Complementary, and Alternative Medicine (TCAM) at the Ministry and will standardize and harness herbal natural resources for studies and research.”
He added that the government shall review and deploy National Health Information Management System data collection tools, instructional manual, and training guide to improve collection and management of Integrated Routine Health Data in Nigeria.
While the impact of COVID-19 pandemic has been devastating around the world, he said Nigeria used the opportunity to work on health system and upgraded laboratory assets, treatment centers and ICUs, “thanks to the generosityof partners and donors, national and international. We have also developed a National Health Sector COVID-19 Pamdemic Action Plan (NAHCPRAP) which builds on existing covid19 pandemic response plans, as the health sector road map to guide this process. We shall be pursuing an agenda that puts Health in All Policies as part of our health security architecture”.
He added that the first set of candidate vaccines are already being rolled out abroad. “The Ministry of Health is working with stakeholders to ensure that Nigeria benefits from high quality vaccines, when they are to be deployed. We are part of the COVAX facility, an initiative backed by WHO and GAVI to ensure equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines to Low and Lower Middle-income countries like Nigeria. A high level team will guide discussions on the subject through FMOH technical working group at NPHCDA, which is the Secretariat for Vaccine Logistics and operations.”
Also speaking on behalf of Civil Society Organisation(CSO), Prof. Oladipo Akinkugbe said that healthcare delivery must be focused on prevention, rather than cure.
Akinkugbe added that health for all must fulfill the Abuja Declaration, and reach the point of putting up to 15 percent of the budget into healthcare.
“That is the only way we can begin to dream of high quality healthcare,” he added.