The World Health Organization, WHO, has called on all stakeholders in Nigeria, to accelerate effort towards building a resilient and sustainable health system for improved health outcomes and universal health coverage.
Speaking at the opening ceremony of the 63rd Regular National Council on Health, the WHO Country Representative, Dr Walter Molumbo, said the last Special National Council on Health focuses on applying lessons from COVID-19 in building resilient health systems towards attaining the Sustainable Development Goals whereas the Sub-themes of this National Council on Health, show deliberate effort has been made to reflect key thematic areas across the six pillars of health systems including primary healthcare, climate change, strengthening local manufacturing of vaccines and biologicals, big data and digital health, health insurance, and building essential partnerships.
The country representative who was represented on the occasion by the officer in charge WHO Nigeria, Dr. Mie Okamura, noted that at the 150th Session of the WHO Executive Board on 24 January 2022, the Director General, Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, presented five priority result areas which formed key rationale for member states to extend the 13th General Program of Work (GPW13) up to the year 2025 during the 75th World Health Assembly.
The priorities include supporting countries to make urgent paradigm shift towards promoting health and well-being and preventing disease by addressing its root causes; have a radical reorientation of health systems towards primary health care, as the foundation of universal health coverage; urgently strengthen the systems and tools for epidemic and pandemic preparedness and response at all levels, underpinned by strong governance and financing to ignite and sustain those efforts, connected and coordinated globally by WHO; and harness the power of science, research innovation, data and digital technologies as critical enablers of the other priorities; as well as urgently strengthen WHO as the leading and directing authority on global health, at the center of the global health architecture.
According to him, the WHO as a member state organization, will depend on the strategic guidance of the health sector plan, which will be enriched by the outcome of the ongoing National Council on Health, to translate into the Nigeria Country Cooperation Strategy (CCS), especially advancing effort towards 2024-2025 programme budget.
He noted that towards the mandate of promoting health, keeping the World safe and serving the vulnerable in Nigeria, the WHO has enjoyed the cooperation of the government at the Federal, 36 States and FCT and has also received overwhelming support and resources from donors, other developing partners, Civil Society Organizations, the academia, private sector, and communities hence they are most grateful.