Prof Onyebuchi Chukwu
Christopher Isiguzo, in Enugu
The Federal Government has reaffirmed its determination to address the myriads of challenges confronting the health sector in the country, but noted that tackling the challenges would require a multi-sectoral approach.
Minister of Health, Prof Onyebuchi Chukwu, who disclosed this while speaking as a guest lecturer at the2012 Biennial Guest Lecture of the Institute of Child Health , University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital (UNTH), Enugu, at the weekend, said the government cannot tackle the problems alone. He therefore solicited the support of different stakeholders in solving the health problems.
The minister, who spoke on the theme of the lecture: “Vision 20:2020-Challenges before the Health Sector”, said there was abundant opportunity for the academia to support the health transformation process and called on the Health Care Professionals, Private sector, the Media and the corporate world to rise up to the occasion and see to it that Vision 20:2020 is realised.
“The Nigerian Health System must be revived, retooled and made more vibrant to deliver on the health sector responsibility within this great vision. The task ahead of us is indeed enormous and the time is short. We must not relent. Our actions or inactions today can make the difference between one more soul dying or living. I urge you all to contribute your best towards realizing our set goals.”
He stated that central to the Vision 20: 2020 in Nigeria was the target of ensuring health care delivery to the citizens to ensure a productive workforce which would be the driver of the economic transformation, adding that improvement in the life expectancy of a country was critical to its GDP hence the cliché that ‘Health is wealth’.
Taking excursion into the Nigeria’s vision 20:2020 and transformation of the health sector, Chukwu disclosed that the objective of the vision in the health sector was to enhance access to quality healthcare adding that the overall goal of economic development was improvement in human well-being. He noted that to attain Nigeria ’s Vision 20:2020 would require the translation of the nation’s economic growth into tangible improvements in the well-being of the majority of the citizens.
He continued: “There are three critical pillars upon which the Vision document is built. These are Guaranteeing the well-being and productivity of the people; optimizing the key source of economic growth’ and fostering sustainable social and economic development. Health is provided for under the first pillar-guaranteeing the well-being and productivity of the people.
“This pillar of the NV20:2020 also covers other important issues that which also impact on the well-being of the people including eradication of extreme hunger and poverty; provision of sustainable access to potable water; provision of access to affordable housing; human capacity development; and provision of micro-credit among others,” said Chukwu.