In a bid to improve healthcare delivery in Nigeria, the government has called for stronger collaboration with stakeholders in the health sector. Vice President, Sen. Kashim Shettima made this appeal during a dinner held in honour of the special adviser to President Bola Tinubu on health, Dr. Salma-Anas Ibrahim organised by the Southern Borno Stakeholders Forum.
Shettima urged Nigerians to place their trust and confidence in Ibrahim as they tackle the challenges of leadership together. He emphasised the importance of inclusive decision-making and a culture of forgiveness in the country.
“Ibrahim is one of our best and experience is not something that can be bought in the marketplace. She has accumulated a wealth of experience and exposure in various regions, including Yemen, Egypt and Somalia. Given her rich resume, I have no doubt that she is well-suited to drive positive change in the health sector in Borno State,” Shettima stated.
He went on to express confidence in Tinubu’s leadership, highlighting the challenges faced by the government and the painful decision to withdraw fuel subsidies. Despite these difficulties, Shettima assured Nigerians that the economy would stabilise in the coming months, leading to improved living conditions.
In response, Ibrahim emphasised the administration’s commitment to addressing the concerns of women and children. She explained that the Tinubu administration is passionate about the health of Nigerians and has tasked her with improving access to quality healthcare services, particularly in reproductive, maternal, newborn, child, adolescent and elderly health, as well as nutrition (RMNCAEH+N).
Ibrahim highlighted the government’s intention to cultivate a public-private partnership (PPP) approach to enhance healthcare access for Nigerians. Leveraging the private sector’s expertise and resources, the government aims to provide basic healthcare services more efficiently.
She also pointed out that the Tinubu ‘Renewed Hope’ agenda aligns with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and aims to achieve health for all through a universal healthcare coverage system.
In his goodwill message, the coordinator of the Africa Health Budget Network (AHBN), Dr. Aminu Magashi commended the creation of the health adviser’s office to Tinubu, emphasising its critical role in healthcare reform. He called for stronger coordination between the health adviser’s office, the National Security Adviser’s Office, the biosafety agency and the broader health sector to enhance health security in Nigeria.
Magashi urged the government to fully fund and support the implementation of the national health security action plan. He also emphasised the importance of civil society organisations (CSOs) and the media in advocating for transparency and accountability in the healthcare sector.
It is worth noting that Ibrahim was appointed as one of Tinubu’s eight special advisers on June 18, 2023. Her role involves providing advisory services on health matters to the President. This appointment received widespread acclaim from healthcare stakeholders who consider it a positive step for the sector.
The event organisers were commended for bringing together individuals from diverse political backgrounds and ethnicities, showcasing unity and celebrating the achievements of a remarkable individual who has made a significant impact on the nation and beyond. The event concluded with the cutting of a celebratory cake and the presentation of awards to Ibrahim by the Southern Borno Stakeholders Forum, acknowledging her outstanding contributions to society.