The Ministry of Health and Social Development has taken pivotal steps to fortify Nigeria’s healthcare system, approving key resolutions at the conclusion of the 64th National Council on Health (NCH).
Speaking at the close of the session in Ado-Ekiti on Friday, the Minister of Health and Social Development, Prof. Muhammad Pate underscored the significance of these resolutions for the well-being of Nigerians.
Aligned with the ‘Renewed Hope’ agenda, this year’s theme, “Building a Resilient and Inclusive Healthcare System for a Healthy Nigeria,” emphasises the need for a robust healthcare infrastructure.
Pate outlined the approved resolutions, which encompass various actions and policies aimed at enhancing healthcare nationwide. Among these are the establishment of bilateral relationships with countries employing Nigerian migrant health workers, the adoption and implementation of training courses on maternal and child nutrition, impact assessments of NCH resolutions, integration of public-private partnerships in healthcare infrastructure, implementation of policies for non-communicable disease prevention and control, and the creation of budget lines for family planning.
“These resolutions signify our commitment to strategic priorities and approaches in constructing a resilient and inclusive healthcare system,” stated Pate.
Expressing concern about the high out-of-pocket expenses incurred by Nigerians for medicines and pharmaceutical products, Pate highlighted the government’s determination to address this challenge. He mentioned ongoing efforts to develop policy actions that may alleviate the financial burden, particularly for the most vulnerable Nigerians.
“As part of the ‘Renewed Hope’ agenda, President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s administration is actively exploring ways to improve the affordability of medicines for the benefit of all Nigerians,” he added.
In furtherance of unlocking value chains in the health sector, Prof. Pate disclosed the establishment of the “Unlocking Healthcare Value-Chain Initiative” by President Tinubu. The initiative aims to stimulate private sector-led, sustainable local production of critical health products.
“To engage and collaborate with key stakeholders in the industry, we have scheduled an invitation-only meeting next week. This meeting aims to facilitate dialogue and explore practical solutions,” revealed Pate.
The 64th NCH saw the participation of 626 delegates, including representatives from federal and state health ministries, development partners, civil society organizations, and the media. The technical session, preceding the council meeting, featured seven technical presentations and the consideration of 82 memoranda.
The NCH, being the highest national policy-making and advisory body on health matters in Nigeria, plays a crucial role in shaping the healthcare landscape of the country. This meeting marks the first council of health under the Tinubu administration.