The Federal Government of Nigeria has launched the Lancet Nigeria Commission and also released an elaborate report and analysis with recommendations for health sector. The launch of the Lancet Nigeria Commission, led by the Vice President of the Federation Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, is aimed at addressing the challenges bothering the Nigeria Health System while also looking into the opportunities that abound and recommending to the government the need to achieve Universal Health Coverage. The Lancet is one of the world’s oldest weekly Medical Journal publishing original research articles, review articles, editorials, book review, correspondence, news, features, and even case report. Occasionally, its editors feel it incumbent upon themselves to name commission about a particular area of concern and this is such a scenario.
Speaking during the launch, the Vice President of Nigeria Prof. Yemi Osinbajo stated that the Lancet Nigeria Commission is ‘timely and will motivate government to improve the health services of the country and fulfill its social contract for its people.’
The Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha on his part insisted that there’s a need for development of the health infrastructure, ‘you can throw whatever amount of money you want to, if this system remains the way it is then the end product will not be of any benefit to the people of Nigeria.’
Also speaking during the event, the Chairman of the Nigeria Commissioners for Health Forum who also doubles as the Cross River State Honorable Commissioner for Health, Dr. Betta Edu commended the Federal Government of Nigeria for this giant stride stating that the country with this innovation is tilting towards achieving Universal Health Coverage. Nigeria needs an overhaul of the health sector including in the areas of governance, strategic planning, people-centered implementable policies, programs, and infrastructure, especially at PHC levels. Dr. Edu noted: ‘If we must achieve Modern Day Health System in Nigeria, we must as a country first tackle political volatility, implement developmental plans effectively, prioritize developmental projects over infrastructural projects, improve funding in the health sector, improve community engagement and lastly, stop the corruption that perpetuates a dysfunctional health sector.’
On the new project, she affirmed that it promises numerous advantages not only for the health sector but also the citizenry. ‘We need a shift from curative to preventive care this remains a major criteria towards achieving UHC’, she told Trek Africa Newspaper.
‘The Launching of Lancet today will bring about positive impacts, strengthening and most importantly serve as a major boost in our health sector and will serve also as a huge advantage to all Nigerians. Our drive towards achieving Universal Health Coverage is beginning. We’re on the right track and our forum will continue to support the President Buhari’s administration to continually boast our health sector.’ Dr. Edu added.
Also speaking at the event, the Dean, UCL Health Science, Prof. Ibrahim Abubakar expressed concerns over the predominant financing of health out-of-pocket by Nigerians. ‘Over 78% of health expenditure today comes from out-of-pocket which means the poorest Nigerians end up with catastrophic expenditure and this is something we can deal on and needs to be tackle almost immediately’, the university don revealed to Trek Africa Newspaper.