In a significant stride towards fostering innovative solutions and advancing Nigeria’s healthcare landscape, Development Governance International (DGI) Consult recently inaugurated the Health Systems Emerging Solutions Forum.
Held on November 14, 2023, in Abuja, the event marked the beginning of a platform dedicated to optimizing resources for accelerated progress towards universal health coverage (UHC).
The managing partner of DGI Consult, Dr. Gafar Alawode emphasised the forum’s pivotal role in showcasing and exploring both local and international health solutions. Driven by a commitment to achieving UHC in Nigeria, the event aimed to facilitate collaborative exploration, knowledge exchange, and the replication of successful health interventions.
Alawode shed light on the rationale behind the forum, stating, “Reflecting on the modest results that we have achieved so far and the great initiatives being implemented by a wide array of other stakeholders, we realized the importance of having a platform that showcases the various innovations and interventions being implemented locally and internationally”. He stressed the significance of understanding, sustaining, and replicating successful health initiatives for widespread impact.
According to Alawode, the forum serves as a platform to discuss how to leverage strengths to change the narrative about weaknesses in the healthcare system. He cited examples from various states, including Yobe, Gombe, Nasarawa and Delta, where impactful efforts have contributed to health system repositioning and improvement of health indices.
In a goodwill message, the director-general of the National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA), Dr. Kelechi Ohiri acknowledged the timeliness of the forum’s theme, “Optimising resources for accelerated progress towards UHC.” He emphasised the importance of mobilising and optimising resources to achieve value in healthcare delivery. Ohiri commended DGI Consult for creating a platform that facilitates the exchange of lessons, ideas and experiences for strengthening capacity building and health systems.
Commissioner of Health, Yobe State, Dr. Mohammed Lawan Gana highlighted the forum’s focus on innovative ideas that have proven successful nationally and internationally. He emphasised the need to optimize resources efficiently to achieve commensurate results. Gana acknowledged the challenges of mobilising resources in the face of scarcity but emphasised the importance of aligning investments with results.
Country Director of Pharmaccess Nigeria, Dr. Njide Ndilli underscored the lack of trust in the healthcare system as a significant barrier to achieving UHC in Nigeria. She stressed the need to embed technology in healthcare, emphasising its role in enhancing trust and efficiency.
As part of the event, DGI Consult honoured individuals who have made remarkable contributions to the advancement of universal health coverage in Nigeria. Hon. Commissioner of Health, Nasarawa State, Dr. Lawan Gana; Commissioner for Health, Yobe State, Dr. Muhammad Lawan Gana; Director-general, Delta State Contributory Health Commission, Dr. Ben Nkechika and others received the UHC Excellence Award.
The Health Systems Emerging Solutions Forum is envisioned as a catalyst for positive change in Nigeria’s healthcare sector, fostering collaboration, innovation, and the efficient use of resources for the attainment of Universal Health Coverage.