Coordinating Minister of Health and Social Welfare, Prof. Ali Pate has assured of the Federal Government’s preparedness towards setting the right direction in achieving quality healthcare system for the citizens.
He made the statement during a 3- day Ministerial Briefing organised by the Federal Ministry of Health and Social Welfare holding from 7th -9th September, 2023 at the Shehu Musa Yar’adua Centre, Abuja which focuses on the innovative ways and strategies that will promote the standard of healthcare system in Nigeria.
The Minister decried the present state of healthcare delivery in the country, citing instances of health emergencies such as the medical officer that had issues from an accident and died due to inability to get urgent healthcare, prevalent maternal mortality as well as unfortunate situations of Diphtheria outbreak in many states claiming the lives of children when there is safe and efficacious vaccines available among others.
He stated that “these people depend on us and healthcare system to deliver on preventable interventions and rehabilitation for all the care they need and they are not getting it”. We are spending much more than Niger Republic, Ethiopia and Ghana yet we are not getting the result of what we are spending.
There is something that is not right in terms of how we do what we do in the health sector, the urgency to change I think is what informed our President who gave this sector the mandate to deliver, as he wants this sector to be one sector with special breakthrough and innovations”.
The new strategies to be employed are intended to reverse poor health indices and provide effective healthcare system that will improve health standard of the people and reduce challenges faced by Nigerians in assessing health services, the Minister stated.
The Minster of State, Dr. Tunji Alausa in his comment, said that “we have gone through many transitions, the retreat, strategic workshop and ministerial briefing. This is a listening session; we want to listen to the leadership of the Ministry of Health and see where things are. A lot of people have worked hard in the last years or decades, but if we are to be honest with ourselves, we are not there yet. This is not where the trend of healthcare we want for our citizens. This is year 2023 there is still a lot of things lacking in the healthcare system”.
“So today we will listen and then we will work collaboratively in the next few days, come together and decide the way forward on what we want to do in the next four years. It’s going to be a collaborative effort, by Saturday we all decide and gather together and list our agenda on where we are going, so we have a sync, we are doing the same thing and talking together” he added.
“President Bola Tinubu has made a commitment to citizens, he said several times that he was going to fix the health sector, and has given Pate and I the mandate to do everything that is humanly possible to fix the health sector for Nigerians and we will do it… a lot of people have worked so hard but for once let’s be honest with ourselves, we are still far from where we should be and that’s where we are beginning to work on” Alausa reiterated.
Speaking further, Alausa noted that the Ministry of Health is deliberate and intentional about collaborations with stakeholders and agencies to achieve this mandate adding that “I am confident that we are going to have an amazing robust, fruitful, honest discussion with ourselves, we are going to listen and take everybody’s input, put it together and amalgamate everything together and come up with what will work for Nigerians”.
Special Adviser on Health to the President, Dr. Salma Anas commented that under the renewed hope agenda for Nigerians, the Federal Government is determined to translate health policies formulated over the years into feasible actions and results to improve the health sector and impact lives positively.
Speaking earlier, Permanent Secretary, Daju Kachollom mni, in her remarks said, “in these challenging times, the role of our Ministry, and indeed each of the agencies and departments represented here, cannot be overstated. Our commitment to ensuring the health and well-being of every citizen is at the forefront of our mission. Today, we gather not only to share updates and progress but also to reaffirm our dedication to this noble cause”.
Vivianne Ihekweazu, founder of Nigeria Health Watch, in her presentation titled the “Power of the possible in Nigeria’s Health Sector”, acknowledges the present challenging times and admonishes on the need to build confidence in Nigerians and donor agencies.
She talked about making first impressions which would always form the platform for wider and essential narratives in the health sector.
The retreat promises to be an event of great significant, where distinguished leaders in the health sector will converge to exchange insight, collaborate on strategic initiatives and shape the future of our nation’s healthcare landscape.
Coordinating Minister of Health & Social Welfare) Prof. Muhammad Ali Pate, flanked by the (Minister of State for Health & Social Welfare) Dr. Tunji Alausa and the (PSH&SW) Daju Kachollom mni at the Ministerial Briefing