Eko Hot Blog reports that Nigeria’s Minister of State for Health and Social Welfare, Dr. Tunji Alausa, has assured world leaders that the most populous black nation in the world is fully committed to Universal Health Coverage.
The minister spoke on Thursday as Nigeria’s representative at a United Nations (UN) General Assembly High-Level Meeting on Universal Health Coverage.
According to Dr. Alausa, Nigeria recognises that the Universal Health Coverage is a fundamental human right and the cornerstone of equitable development.
He, therefore, stated that Nigeria is committed to deploying national policies, strategies, and initiatives to meet the “numerous challenges” the country’s health sector faces.
The health minister also disclosed that the Nigerian government is prioritising widening the country’s revenue base and controlling avenues for available expenditures so as to invest heavily in the health and education sectors for a more equitable and prosperous Nigeria.
Meanwhile, world leaders at the high-level meeting approved a new Political Declaration on “Universal Health Coverage (UHC): expanding our ambition for health and well-being in a post-COVID world”.
The declaration is hailed as a vital catalyst for the international community to take big and bold actions and mobilize the necessary political commitments and financial investments to attain the UHC target of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the UHC target measures the ability of countries to ensure that everyone receives the health care they need, when and where they need it, without facing financial hardship.
“It covers the full continuum of key services from health promotion to prevention, protection, treatment, rehabilitation and palliative care. Alarmingly, global progress towards UHC has been largely stagnating since 2015, before stalling in 2019,” the global health body stated.
The organisation disclosed that, in the Political Declaration, Heads of State and world leaders committed to take key national actions, make essential investments, strengthen international cooperation and global solidarity at the highest political level to accelerate progress towards UHC by 2030, using a primary health care (PHC) approach.
“For health care to be truly universal, it requires a shift from health systems designed around diseases to systems designed for people. PHC, an approach to strengthening health systems centred on people’s needs, is one of the most effective areas for investment to accelerate progress towards UHC,” the WHO said.
“Countries that have taken a PHC approach have better ability to rapidly build stronger, more resilient health systems to reach the most vulnerable and achieve a higher return on health investments. Most importantly, they ensure that more people are covered with essential health services and are empowered to participate in making the decisions that affect their health and well-being.”
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