By Our Reporter
To reach millions more people in need of health care services, Nigeria must increase funding for its Primary Health Care Services. This increase funding could also leverage on government resources and the private sector.
The Country Director, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation ( BMGF), Dr. Jeremie Zoungrana, said this on Friday at the Primary Health Care Summit held at the International Conference Centre Abuja.
The Summit tagged: ‘Re-imagining Primary Health Care,’ was organised by the Federal Ministry of Health, in collaboration with the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA), with the aim of making sure that all Nigerians have access to health care within range of five kilometers to their places of abode.
Dr. Zoungrana in a speech at the event said the BMGF has always supported the development efforts of the Nigerian government and interested in seeing Nigeria leverage its enormous human capital for sustainable economic development.
“We commend the vision of the government of Nigeria to revitalize its PHC system which couldn’t be timelier, to ensure that Nigeria makes the desired progress towards providing quality health care that is accessible to Nigerians, and as a pathway to achieving Universal Health Coverage (UHC), Zoungrana said.
The BMGF director commended the federal government for the prioritization and comprehensive reform of the PHC system noted that 80% of disease burden could be prevented and managed through a functional primary care system.
Zoungrana: “PHC revitalization and reforms are a continuous and iterative process that require periodic reviews, to stay in tune with population dynamics, economic realities and national aspirations.
“As such, I would like to reiterate the commitment of the Foundation to support the government of Nigeria to achieve the vision of the PHC summit and beyond.
“I would like to recommit to the implementation of the Seattle Declaration and our PHC Challenge Fund to incentivize prioritization, reform, and financing of PHC. “
He also emphasized three steps, which would help in the scale up of health care delivery to the people who most need it. These include the need to scale up and increase PHC centres that would reach millions of people, as “marginal change will not work for Nigeria.”
He also advocated the need to increase funding through the Basic Health Care Provision Fund (BHCPF), which was established under section 11 of the National Health Act. Lastly, he advocated for transparency and accountability so that spending needs will be better managed for optimal results.
“The Foundation continues to be grateful for our partnership, and proud to be associated with the good work that FMOH/NPHCDA and other health agencies and states have done and continue to do. We join hands with other partners to congratulate the NPHCDA for this important milestone and look forward to a good outcome,” he said.