Charles Ajunwa

The President and Founder, Women Focus Canada Inc, Dr. Oluremi Remi Adewale, at the 2018 Nigeria Diaspora Investment Summit, which held recently in Abuja, solicited for functional health services in Nigeria.

Adewale made this solicitation in a paper presentation titled ‘Health Care: Ensuring Functional Health Services Provision in Nigeria’.

In her presentation, Adewale reminded Nigerian leaders of the Abuja Declaration of 2001, in which all the African Union countries met and pledged to set a target of allocating at least 15 per cent of their annual budget to improve the health sector.

She indicated that over half of the population in Nigeria lives below the poverty line, on less than a dollar a day and were unable to afford the high cost of private healthcare.

She said: “In addition, 55 per cent of the population lives in rural areas, making delivery of health services more challenging. Collectively, health access in Nigeria is only at 43.3 per cent.

“Adequate funding is critical for improving the health of all citizens; however, funding alone will not rescue the Nigerian healthcare system.”

She stated that Canada spends approximately 11.5 per cent of its GDP on health.

“Canada’s health indicators report a high life expectancy of 82.1 years and a low infant mortality rate of 4.5 per 1000 live births, which many attribute to its universally available healthcare system.”

Adewale recommended that certain aspects of Canadian healthcare system can serve as a model for improving Nigeria’s healthcare.

She further stated that, much like the Canadian system, healthcare should be decentralised to give local governments control over healthcare resources as they will be in a better position to assess the needs of the region.

Adewale concluded that proper implementation of these recommendations should improve health indicators, strengthen the economy, and positively influence Nigeria’s future.