Universal Health Coverage takes Centre Stage as SFH celebrates 40

By Julie Ekong

The Lagos state government is set to redesign and build twenty prototype Primary Health Care Centres, PHCs, spread across the state

The PHCs will be powered with solar and medical doctors to man them will be employed, while state of the art equipment will also be installed to ensure quality and quantitative health care delivery that will stand the test of time.

The State Commissioner for Health, Professor Akin Abayomi made this known an a two – day leadership retreat to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the Society for Family Health – Nigeria in Lagos.

Presenting the keynote address on ” Reflection on accelerating progress to UHC – what next ?” Professor Abayomi said the reason for the redesign is to change the narrative of how a PHC should look like and prioritise activities to achieving Universal Health Coverage.

He noted that the state is committed to ensure that everyone has access to the same level of care irrespective of social class or denomination.

Professor Abayomi was represented by, Dr. Olamide Okulaja Technical Assistant to the C4Health, Lagos State & Health Economist at LSMoH at the event.

“The ideology that there is no funding in healthcare is false, as the total funding expenditure in 2020, it was about 60.1 billion dollars. So people are paying for health care, he said.

“According to him, what the government is trying to do is, see how they can pay to that money into the system that enables them access better healthcare services. And for the poor, once it’s certain that they cannot pay, government will subsidize” , he added.

The Commissioner for Health, Ekiti State, and the Chair, Health Commissioner Forum of Nigeria, Dr Oyebanji Filani, who presented a paper on what next after the NHA, BHCPF and NHIA in Closing the Social Contract gap and Improving and Improving Health outcome at sub-national level ? said, poor child spacing practices, risks at childbirth to mother and child as well as poor access to high impact health interventions drive under – performance of health outcomes in the country.

“The Children who are ideally the future of tomorrow struggle with poor nutritional and educational support, there is the need to shift from federal to state and local government level to achieve the desired results” he added.

The Board President of SFH, Professor Ekanem Ikpi Braide, noted that the organisation had structured the agenda with activities ranging from lessons learnt in health policy and governance as well as private sector -led reform among others.

“We remain grateful to governments, donors and wider stakeholders for the partnership enjoyed over the years and look forward to a further deepening of these partnerships even in the journey to the Universal Health Coverage and improved outcomes which is a collective quest “. Professor Braide said.

The retreat is being attended by counterparts from Sierra Leone, Liberia, Ghana and the host country, Nigeria.

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