•Meets global health partners
•Pate: We’ll make sector more qualitative, productive to boost GDP
Deji Elumoye and Onyebuchi Ezigbo in Abuja
Vice President Kashim Shettima has disclosed that increasing domestic health financing, industrialisation and improved health outcomes, would be topmost on the agenda of the Tinubu government in the health sector.
Shettima, who stated this when playing host to a delegation from the Global Health Partners – the Global Fund, US President’s Malaria Initiative (PMI), and the US President’s Emergency Plan For AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) at the State House, Abuja, restated the commitment of the present administration to repositioning Nigeria’s healthcare system
He pledged the President’s political support to, “improve health outcomes for all Nigerians; increased domestic financing for health; and promoting health industrialisation.”
According to him, “these are three major commitments I am making on behalf of my boss and be rest assured that our word is our bond.
“I want to assure you that we are determined to catapult the nation to a higher pedestal. We are committed to changing the narrative of inclusive growth, of a Nigeria where every black man will be proud of.
“President Tinubu is a man of vision and he has the courage to follow through whatever he believes in, from the appointment of the Minister of Health, there is a clear testimony to the drive, the political commitment of the President and the current leadership towards repositioning the Nigerian nation.
“The Minister of Health is a man of impeccable credentials. He is a celebrated public health practitioner with the experience, exposure and commitment to drive the change we seek in the health sector.”
The vice president urged the Global Health Partners and other stakeholders in the health sector to support the new leadership in the Health Ministry to actualise the president’s vision for all Nigerians.
Earlier in his remarks, the Coordinating Minister of Health and Social Welfare, Prof. Ali Pate, said the visit of the global health partners was to take stock of the progress made so far and reassured the Tinubu-led administration of their commitment to the efforts to combat HIV AIDS, Malaria and Tuberculosis, among others.
Also speaking, the US Global AIDS Coordinator, Amb. John Nkengasong, said the visit which coincided with the commemoration of US Government’s 20 years of support to Nigeria’s fight against HIV AIDS through the PEPFAR initiative, provided opportunity for the partners to appreciate the vision and direction of the Tinubu administration for the health sector.
He commended the administration, noting that the Health Minister’s clarity of vision and commitment to building an inclusive health system for the country, would help the partners align their goals and targets in the various interventions.
In separate remarks, Mr. Peter Sands of the Global Fund and David Walton of the President’s Malaria Initiative, commended the Federal Government for its efforts towards combating Malaria, HIV AIDS and Tuberculosis and urged all stakeholders to sustain the momentum especially in the bid to achieve the 2030 target of eradicating HIV AIDS in Nigeria.
All the partners at the meeting pledged their support and commitment to work with the Tinubu’s administration to deliver on its mandate and vision for the health sector.
In the meantime, the Pate has said that the federal government intends to create a quality health sector that was productive and could help boost the country’s GDP.
Pate, who spoke as guest on Arise News Channel’s Programme, ‘Arise Exchange,’ said the new administration’s vision would focus on four key areas of quality of governance and leadership of hospitals, strengthening regulatory capacities of agencies under the ministry as well investment in public health.
The minister further said the new vision would seek to unlock the value chain in the health sector so that there would be a lot to celebrate.
Pate, said health should not be viewed just as a consensus sector, but a productive sector that could contribute to the “growth of our Gross Domestic Product by producing general medicals, biological equipment, services and IT, all these can contribute to our economic growth that potentials have not been harnessed very well.”
While throwing more light on the vision of the Tinubu-led administration for the health sector, the Coordinating Minister of Health and Social Welfare, said part of objective was to give Nigerians quality healthcare and to make healthcare more productive to boost our economy.
He said: “The vision is that of President Tinubu to transform this country’s economy to be vibrant and to engage a population that is healthy and productive, that is also prosperous and shared in the overall prosperity of our country. Health is at the centre of our efforts to build our human capital.
“For us in the health sector, what we have outlined is to drive from that vision of Mr. President to ensure that we save lives, we reduce pain, both physical and financial hardship from the cost of ill health and that we produce health for Nigerians by preventing diseases that can be prevented and also reduce the burden of things like non-communicable diseases that is becoming a major issue in our population.
“A healthy nation will harness the potential of our youthful population. We are young as a nation and we are both ageing so that both sides of the demographic picture requires good health to be productive and contribute to the development of our country and actualise the prosperity that this country can enjoy in the period ahead.
“And to do this, the inequality that exists between the haves and the have-nots will be reduced to a nearest minimum including, the poorest, the rural women, the disabled to be part of the journey in the country’s efforts to be healthier as a population.”
Pate further stated: One of the ways we intend to achieve this vision is by improving governance, bringing in state governments, local governments, the private sector, including the media to be part of that journey of a new consensus about the importance of the health of our human capital.”
Pate said that he intends to talk less but work silently to delivery results in the health sector.