The World Bank Group Nigeria has alleged that there is no official record identifying or a form of registration for the poor and most vulnerable people in Nigeria. The group said if this existed, Nigeria would be considered to have achieved Universal Health Coverage (UHC).
The senior health specialist, health, nutrition and population, World Bank Group, Dr. Olumide Okunola, made this claim at the launch of the State of Primary Health Care (PHC) Service Delivery in Nigeria report today (July 19, 2022) in Abuja.
Recall that the 2019-2021 report was organised by ONE Campaign, National Advocates for Health, Nigeria Health Watch and the Public and Private Development Centre (PPDC) and partners.
The report tracked the health progress across the 36 states and the FCT, especially in the implementation of the Basic Health Care Provision Fund (BHCPF) and has put forward some critical recommendations that can lead to improvement in health outcomes for all Nigerians.
Okunola said that these loopholes continued to significantly hinder the UHC gateway in the country.
He stated that citizens would have more options if the private sector is included in the delivery of healthcare services in the country.
He, however, said that it would also put pressure on the public hospital to raise the standard of care. “We need to start demanding high-quality services for Nigerians.”
The chairman, Senate Committee on Health, Sen. Ibrahim Oloriegbe, said he was pleased to take part in anything that helps Nigerians receive high-quality healthcare services delivery.
Oloriegbe questioned how the country hopes to use the report to leverage the 2023 election to bring the issues in health to the forefront of the political agenda.
He urged all relevant agencies to make use of the report on the national debates to give Nigerians – not the political class – a voice.
Similarly, the chairman, National Advocates for Health, Hon. Muhammad Usman, said that he believed that the National Health Act resulted in the BHCPF, which would ensure better health services in PHCs across the country.
Usman urged Nigerians to take action to ensure that the funds for health were used to improve their health outcomes.
In his message, the House of Representatives representing Mbaitoli/Ikeduru Federal Constituency, Hon Henry Nwawuba, expressed regrets that the country lacked a template for oversight.
Nwawuba said that the country should put procedures in place that would allow her examine data gathered across the states and the FCT and utilise it to inform changes in the following appropriation year.
According to the One Africa executive director, Mr Edwin Daniels, seeing working collaboration amongst stakeholders to achieve quality health care in Nigeria, particularly at the grassroots, reflected the major aim of the #MakeNaijaStronger campaign.
Daniels urged all stakeholders to continue to push for Nigerians to actively demand health at the state level, where the funds are and to continue to request for improved quality health at all levels.
Meanwhile, singer Ms. Aituaje ‘Waje’ Iruobe said that the report provided insights into the ranking of states on the implementation of BHCPF and the quality of service at PHCs across the country.
Iruobe said that Nigerians have witnessed the impact of poor health delivery in the country, but the hope lies in the resilience of the Nigerian health care workers.
“When I started collaborating with One Nigeria, I did it out of a desire to improve the state of health care delivery in the country.
“The journey to improving quality health outcomes for all Nigerians, especially the poor and vulnerable, requires a firm commitment from all stakeholders, including our leaders. I dare to say that today’s gathering is a realisation of the need to do more,” she added.