The United States and other stakeholders in the primary health care (PHC) sector have pledged to support Nigeria’s quest for the Reimagining Project to boost sectoral development.
This was the consensus at the ongoing, two-day summit organised by the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA) billed to end today in Abuja.
The summit has featured strategy roll-out, high-level panel discussions, and calls for commitments in support of the historic project to transform the under-resourced and long inadequate primary health care system in Nigeria by leveraging the private sector, international agency and government collaboration.
Speaking at the summit, supportive pledges were announced from government and private sector leaders. U.S. Ambassador to Nigeria Mary Beth Leonard pledged the American government’s support for the project, as did former CEO of Access Bank Aigboje Aig-Imoukhuede.
Meanwhile, Gavi CEO Seth Berkley emphasised the wider importance of Reimagining PHC. “Revitalisation of primary health care is critical not just to the people in the communities, but also for global security.”
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo went on to underscore that “A health system is only as strong as its primary health care” and that the initiative “couldn’t have come at a better time”.
In his remarks, the Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire, threw his weight behind the project. “This summit must not be another missed opportunity to address issues that hamstring our health sector in Nigeria.”
Earlier, the executive director, NPHCDA, Dr. Faisal Shuaib, presented the agency’s bold strategy to bring tangible, largescale transformation to Nigeria’s primary health care system by the year 2030.
The Reimagining PHC programme is solutions-focused and dedicated to delivering improved PHC across the country. ED Shuaib presented the multi-pronged and multi-layered plan to pool resources and commitments toward practical, high-impact interventions across all aspects of PHC delivery.
He outlined the interventions toward investing in PHC infrastructure across the country, including constructing and restoring health centres; ensuring provision of general, laboratories, clinic and personnel equipment; ensuring the availability of quality drugs, procuring ambulances for accessibility and training and employing quality nurses, midwives, clinical staff and non-clinical staff at health centres across Nigeria.
“Our ambitious, yet deliberate and attainable action plan will transform health in Nigeria in the long term. The PHC system is the backbone of health care, we must radically change our PHC to begin delivering quality, accessible care to all Nigerians.
“This change is possible [and] realistic. We have a deeply flawed and inadequate health system in Nigeria and people are dying because of it. But current challenges can be solved through public-private cooperation in fundraising and execution of the Reimagining PHC programme. Together, we can create monumental impact,” Shuaib assured.