Invest in Health Care, FG Told

As Nigeria marks her 54th independence anniversary, the Commonwealth Medical Association, CMA, an organization that assists and strengthens capacities of National Medical Associations of countries within the Commonwealth in order to improve the health and wellbeing of their countries, on Wednesday, urged the federal government to invest more in the country’s health sector.

The advice was contained in a statement signed by Osahon Enabulele, CMA’s Vice President, West Africa Region.

“Government at all levels had yet to decisively address most of the basic challenges confronting the health sector. At 54, Nigeria’s health care system is still being undermined by the poor political commitment to health and the health care needs of Nigerians, by Nigeria’s top political and public office holders. The health sector is also still blighted by poor budgeting for health at Federal, State and Local Government levels. Nigeria is yet to witness massive investments in health research, particularly Public Health Research and other areas of operational research,’’ Enabulele said.

While stressing that Nigeria is yet to enact a National Health Act at 54, Enbulele said the glaring absence of proactive efforts by African countries in developing a preventive vaccine for the Ebola Virus Disease, EVD, since it first broke out in 1976 was a clear testimony of the poor priority for health research in the country.

“At 54, Nigeria is yet to enact a National Health Act while Universal Health Coverage in Nigeria is still hovering around a miserable seven per cent coverage, far lower than rates seen in other less endowed countries like Rwanda, Tanzania and Ghana. The glaring absence of proactive research efforts  by African countries, including Nigeria to develop a preventive vaccine or a drug cure for Ebola Virus Disease since its first outbreak in 1976, is a clear testimony of the poor priority for health research,’’ he added.

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