The Minister of State for Health, Sen. Adeleke Mamora, has called for the full implementation of the National Health Act in order to have a responsive sector that respond to epidemics.
He stated this at the special National Council on Health (NCH) meeting in Abuja, Thursday.
He noted that the government had learnt many lessons from the COVID-19 pandemic
“The COVID-19 Pandemic has made it clearer the need for us to be able to rely on our healthcare system to provide effective, efficient services and very importantly with financial risk protection at all times, at all levels for our people.
“The National Health Act (NHAct), 2014 has provisions that can turn around our healthcare systems, but the challenge is implementation. “Therefore, it is our collective responsibility to ensure that we maximize the provisions of this law through the full operationalization. I have no doubt that if this is done, we would achieve a resilient and responsive health system that will move us close to our collective dream,* he said.
Speaking on the lessons learnt the Minister said: “Despite all these challenges, several lessons could and have been learned from the pandemic and response efforts made by the government in containing it.
“Consolidating lessons from the pandemic have the potentials of making our health systems more resilient and responsive in a way to develop capacities to prepare for, recover from and absorb shocks, whilst maintaining its core functions and serving the ongoing, acute care and emerging needs of our communities as well as protecting the vulnerable group.“
Mamora, however, said that multi-sectoral collaboration through the creation of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 (PTF), was among the strategies deployed by the government to halt the spread of the virus in the country.
According to him: “President Muhammadu Buhari’s whole-of-government approach to addressing the Pandemic was through the commissioning of a robust multisectoral coordination platform, the Presidential Task Force(PTF), which later metamorphosed into the Presidential Steering Committee(PSC).
“The main objectives were to engage, coordinate multi-sectoral, multilateral, and private actors in order to ensure synergy in the response activities.
“These measures contributed greatly to the success of the Nigerian response. This approach also showed the importance of multisectoral involvement in addressing health system and service delivery challenges.
“Therefore, going forward there is a need to build on these learnings and gains to ensure “mainstreaming health in all policies”.
“This is because several determinants of health are not particularly within the purview and jurisdiction of the ministry of health but other sister ministries.
“We now have new evidence that shows the impact of multi-sectoral collaboration in moving public health interventions forward.
“Existing and new relevant platforms can be leveraged to bring all stakeholders together to build a resilient and responsive health system that will propel the nation towards achieving SDG.”
Speaking on the need to re-evaluate the healthcare system, he disclosed that the Federal Government has concluded plans to increase investment in digital health.
The minister who stressed the need to re-evaluate its investment in digital health in order to identify gaps said: “We will evaluate our investments in digital health to identify gaps that must be bridged and built upon through the use and application of digital technologies in healthcare delivery.
“This is because our COVID-19 response experience has shown that digital technology can be leveraged upon to bridge gaps and deficiencies in all facets of our health system and can be further maximized as an efficiency tool and instrument that will aid our national pursuit of the SDGs targets.”