Nigeria’s Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo, and the Minister of Health, Osagie Ehanire, among other key stakeholders are expected to attend the 2022 edition of the annual National Health Dialogue organised by the Centre for Journalism Innovation and Development (CJID) in collaboration with PREMIUM TIMES.
Other dignitaries expected at the forum which is expected to appraise issues around primary health care in the country, also include the Executive Secretary of the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA), Faisal Shuaib, and veteran health journalist, Moji Makanjuola. Mrs Makanjuola is billed to moderate a panel session.
Other relevant government officials, representatives of grassroots, civil society organisations, media and non-governmental groups, are also expected to grace the “very important gathering where issues surrounding the first layer of health care institutions in Nigeria are to be appraised.”
The last edition of the dialogue was held in 2019 before the coronavirus pandemic interrupted socio-economic and political activities globally.
A statement by the organisers and signed by CJID Programme Officer, Adebowale Adedigba, noted that the theme for this year’s edition is: “Primary Health Care Financing; Role of State and Non-state Actors”. It is scheduled to hold in Abuja, Nigeria’s Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
The dialogue aims to bring together stakeholders across the West African corridor to discuss and share experiences on key issues in the primary health care subsector, such as financing, and human resources for health and insurance.
It will also create a platform for members of the public, stakeholders and experts to discuss and make recommendations on ensuring proper financing vehicles for PHCs in the country as well as improving the quality of life of health workers.
The organisers said this is timely as the country’s health sector is facing financing and human resource gaps.
The statement by the organisers reads in part: “It is important to look at the role played by non-state and state actors in resources mobilisation, human resource and functionality of PHC in Nigeria.
“The event is important at this time as Nigeria is entering a political era, where issues of policy implementation and improvement of PHCs need to be prioritised.”
The organisers said the ability of a country to be highly productive is dependent on the health status of its citizens, adding that a country’s health sector plays a strategic role in security, economic development, and employment opportunities, amongst others.
Despite its important role of providing services to the majority of people based on need, without geographical, social, or financial barriers, only about 20 per cent of PHC facilities across Nigeria are fully functional.
The rest cannot provide essential healthcare services, according to various reports.
Some PHCs are faced with a lot of problems, including poor distribution of health workers, poor quality of healthcare services, poor infrastructure, and poor supply of essential drugs.
The inability of PHC centres to provide basic medical services to people, especially in rural areas, has increased the influx of patients to secondary and tertiary healthcare facilities.
Health experts have repeatedly advocated improvement of PHCs, noting that Nigeria cannot achieve Universal Health Coverage (UHC) without addressing issues at the grassroots level.
At the health dialogue, stakeholders will discuss the way forward in ensuring the country achieves health coverage for all.Follow us on social media