FG Unveils New Universal Health Coverage Platform

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Osagie Ehanire

Onyebuchi Ezigbo in Abuja

The Federal Ministry of Health said it had resolved to establish a Nigeria Reproductive, Maternal, Newborn, Child, Adolescent and Elderly Health Plus Nutrition (RMNCAEH+N), multi-stakeholder partnership coordination platform aimed at improving the health and
Well-being of women, children, adolescents, and the elderly.

Addressing a press conference at the ministry’s headquarters in Abuja yesterday, the Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire, said the present poor health indices in the country were not acceptable to federal government.

He said that it was in realisation of government’s vision to achieve universal health coverage, that the federal Ministry of Health was repositioning its approach to partnership to maximise impact for better outcomes.

He said: “Our health indices are unacceptably poor, with a Maternal mortality ratio of 512 per 1,000 live births, Under-five mortality rate of 132 per 1,000 live births and neonatal mortality rate of 39 per 1,000 livebirths.”
The minister however noted that the present administration had made modest progress towards improvement of child survival and safe-motherhood.

According to Ehanire, the impact was achieved through provision of ready-to-use therapeutic food and sustaining FP2020 commitments to ensure availability of family planning services to women of reproductive age amongst other things.

In addition, the minister said that the operationalisation of the National Health Act and the
Basic Health Care Provision Fund would greatly improve access to quality healthcare for the vulnerable, particularly at the primary healthcare level.

“We have resolved to establish a Nigeria Reproductive, Maternal, Newborn, Child, Adolescent and Elderly Health Plus Nutrition (RMNCAEH+N) multi-stakeholder partnership coordination platform, to be launched on Monday 12th of October, 2020.

“The vision for this multi-stakeholder coordination platform is to harness the relative strengths of the diverse stakeholders and create opportunities to leverage resources to maximise outcomes for attainment of our shared vision for Nigerians, particularly the vulnerable population,” Ehanire said.

The minister added that the motto of the new initiative was “partnering for well-being of women, children, adolescents, and the elderly, encapsulates the core values that drive universal health coverage, with the aim of leaving no one behind.”

He said the federal government’s responsibility for the well-being of women children, adolescent and elderly took cognisance of their roles in national development since, they constitute a significant proportion of the Nigerian populace.

He said there was no doubt that the COVID-19 pandemic had its toll on routine healthcare delivery around the world and at the initial phase, severely impacted RMNCAH+N services in Nigeria, adding “that lessons learnt from the COVID-19 pandemic are being utilised to strengthen our health system and reposition it for more resilience, to improve health and well-being of the vulnerable across population life cycle.”