PharmAccess collaborates on wife of Nigerian President's mother and child health initiative
On the sidelines of the 70th United Nations General Assembly in New York, PharmAccess was invited by the wife of the President of Nigeria, Mrs. Aisha Muhammadu Buhari, to participate in the launch of her mother and child health initiative, an event co-organized by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and the World Bank Group.
Complementing recent healthcare efforts by the Nigerian government, Mrs. Buhari is championing an advocacy initiative for the financing and delivery of mother and child healthcare. She has set up an advisory group which includes prominent business people in Nigeria such as Aliko Dangote and Tony Elumelu, as well as a technical working group, including IFC, PharmAccess and other organizations to advise on her initiative. PharmAccess also contributed to the development of a concept note of Mrs. Buhari's initiative.
The Mother and Child Health Initiative was launched in New York on 29-30 September with a series of workshops and roundtable discussions. The event, entitled Bringing resilience and stability in Nigeria: A long-term strategy to improve reproductive, maternal, newborn, child and adolescent health and nutrition, was attended by leading Nigerian institutions, including Federal Ministry of Health, National Health Insurance Scheme, Nigeria Agency for the Control of AIDS and States as well as the UNFPA, IFC/World Bank, BCG and various African representatives of the United Nations.
Mrs. Buhari, represented by the wife of the vice president Mrs Dolapo Osinbajo, emphasized the commitment to develop an international and national advocacy with diverse stakeholders, including the private sector, to ensure the financing and delivery of care for women, girls and children. She emphasized that their focus is not on the delivery of services but to create an enabling environment that will facilitate the delivery of those services.
PharmAccess' Director Advocacy Kwasi Boahene participated in a panel discussion on financing healthcare, where he emphasized that Nigeria, with a health expenditure per capita of USD 115 (compared with WHO estimate of USD 60) has enough resources to provide basic healthcare for the majority of its citizens. Most of the participants agreed that the main challenge is the political will for Nigeria to develop an inclusive and accountable health system, where risks are transparent for investors and government plays its role in mitigating those risks. Mrs. Saraki, the wife of the former Kwara State Governor, who now holds the post of President of the Senate of Nigeria, was gracious of the achievements of PharmAccess in Nigeria, particularly the Kwara State health insurance program. Emre Ozcan and Matthieu Lamiaux of the Boston Consulting Group presented on leapfrogging health systems and the partnership with PharmAccess.
Healthcare in Nigeria