…as Lagos assures healthcare delivery for all in the next 2 yrs
By Chris Onuoha
The 7th annual public lecture of the Foursquare Church in Nigeria themed: “Health & Wealth: The global impact,” was held on Tuesday, October 13, 2020 in Lagos. The event was declared open by the General Overseer, Foursquare Church in Nigeria, Reverend Sam Aboyeji, chaired by Mazi Sam Ohuabunwa, President of Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria, and had as keynote speaker, Prof Isaac Adewole, former Minister of Health while panel of discussants made of health experts from Nigerian Universities discussed the challenging times in our health sector in the country.
Special guest, Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu, represented by his Commissioner for Health, Prof Akin Abayomi, in his earlier remarks reiterated his administration’s commitment to healthcare delivery in Lagos State. He stated that the Lagos State is presently working at 11% budget allocation to health and will reach the stipulated 15% health budget allocation declaration by the federal government on health deliverance in due time. The governor also noted that his administration is vigorously pursuing human capital development which according to him is a very vital resource.
“We are shifting from mineral resources to human capital resources. We want a situation where a Nigerian person can compete favourably with anyone in a developed country,” he said.
According to him, this is in accordance with World Health Organization’s declaration of “One health paradigm.” Sanwo-Olu noted that his administration recognizes two vital things which are health and environment and disclosed the Lagos State is driving the heath paradigm with biosecurity roadmap. He promised that his administration will in the next 2 years make sure health insurance a priority to make healthcare accessible to all.
“General illness do not really need hospital but must be taken care at the primary level which we will prioritize,” Sanwo-Olu stated.
Keynote speaker, Prof Isaac Adewole, in an extensive lecture, touched many challenges with facts and figures in the health sector in Nigeria. While stressing that government has not done enough in terms of policy implementation and funding to the health sector, he earnestly stress the need for Churches to take over the running of hospitals in the country, saying that the church has an important role to play in enlightening, educating, equipping and empowering the populace. He also canvassed that health insurance in the country must be mandatory, so as to tackle the imbalance in healthcare delivery. He noted that the out of pocket expenditure in the country is so huge compared to other countries.
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Meanwhile, Mazi Sam Ohuabunwa, chairman of the occasion, in his brief remark bemoans government’s insensitivity towards the plight of Nigerians in the health sector. Mazi Ohuabunwa who mentioned that he was the first to propose the use of face mask before the Coronavirus came into Nigeria, laments that government do not pay heed to instructions of indigenous people in the health field as much.
Speaking to newsmen at the event, Rev. Theophilus Netufo, Vice Chairman, event organizing committee disclosed that the outcome of the event was successful. He said the subject was very relevant at this time.
“As a matter of facts, based on statistics enumerated by the guest lecturer, Prof Adewole, we discovered that Nigeria has not done much in the area of healthcare delivery,” said Netufo.
According him, “Health is wealth; you cannot get wealth when you are not healthy. We need good health to succeed in various works and careers. Obviously, we will issue a communiqué to both the federal and state government stemming from the deliberations of the lecture today. Lagos State governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu had assured us that his administration is fully prepared to raise the bar in the healthcare delivery.
“We are not surprised that many States in the country are not doing well in the area of human capital development. People must get a healthy environment. Cleanliness they say is next to Godliness. We must maintain a healthy life to live and achieve. Government must not relent in providing adequate healthcare delivery for the people,” Rev. Netufo added.