By Sola Ogundipe
The Director-General of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, NCDC, Dr Chikwe Ihekweazu, has called for a rethink of the current global healthcare delivery architecture to make it more collaborative and responsive to combat the coronavirus and future pandemics.
Ihekweazu said the new healthcare model must be global in outlook but easily adaptable to meet local needs, arguing that it must be equitable, collaborative, and resilient, with inbuilt environmental and economic components to forestall the current haphazard global response to COVID-19.
Speaking at the 2020 Nigerian Association of Pharmacists and Pharmaceutical Scientists in the Americas, NAPPSA, Scientific Conference and Exposition in the US themed: “COVID-19 Pandemic: Evolution of Science, Practice, and Training”, Ihekweazu said the model must meet the health security needs of each nation and inspire a new crop of scientists and public health professionals.
His words: “COVID-19 has taught us that health is the basis of wealth, that global health is no longer defined by Western nations and must also be guided by Africa and Asia, and that international solidarity is an essential response and a superior approach to isolationism,
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“Every country needs a National Public Health Institute to deliver on health security. We need to inspire a new generation of scientists and public health professionals.
“We need to build resilience in the supply chain for essential commodities and strengthen international collaboration for equitable access to vaccines and targeted support,” Ihekweazu noted.
Also speaking, the NAPPSA President, Dr Anthony Ikeme, said Nigeria must learn the lessons of the COVID-19 pandemic and fortify her healthcare infrastructure to be better prepared for future emergencies.
He said NAPPSA, the foremost group of diaspora Nigerians with over 7,000 Nigerian pharmaceutical and related professionals, holds the yearly conference among other things, to share knowledge and ideas on current developments and innovations in the medical and pharmaceutical field, providing insights to issues, as well as offer practical steps to help shape the future of the sector.
He presented an award to Ihekweazu on behalf of NAPPSA, “in recognition of his exceptional leadership in monitoring and mitigating the impact of COVID-19 pandemic in Nigeria.”
The recipient commended the Association for its leading role in Nigeria’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic amidst others.
Ikeme assured that NAPPSA will continue to exploit its 10-Year Strategy Plan to increase its organisational footprint and maximising impact as a professional organisation both in the USA and in Nigeria.