The World Health Organisation (WHO) says ill health is making a lot of Nigerians become poorer.
WHO representative in Nigeria, Walter Kazadi Mulombo, stated this on Thursday at the induction ceremony of newly appointed state Commissioners of Health which held in Abuja.
Mulombo who congratulated the commissioners on their appointments, said enormous tasks have been placed on their shoulders towards the achievement of Universal Health Coverage (UHC) and health security in Nigeria.
He told the commissioners that in order to make a remarkable difference in the Nigerian health sector, uncommon approaches are required.
“Considering the political economy of the country, your position is unique in steering your states towards the right direction in line with federal government policies and agenda despite the prevailing challenges based on your state specific contexts.
“With the ongoing increase in the burden of non-communicable diseases on the background of high burden of communicable diseases, multiple outbreaks, and the highest out-of-pocket expenditure on health in the region, more Nigerians are falling into poverty due to ill health while many do not have access to the quality essential health services they need.
“Rising from the international conference to celebrate the 45th anniversary of Alma-Ata and 5th anniversary of Astana declarations on primary health care in Astana Kazakhstan, last week, countries have recommitted themselves to making a radical shift towards primary healthcare as the foundation of UHC and health security.
“This indeed entails shifting focus from mere concepts to actions with demonstrable results, for greater resilience in the health sector, even in the face of emergencies.
“As leaders of the health sector very close to the people, it is demanded of you now more than ever, to keep PHC high on the agenda of your governments and ensure priority investment in its development.”
The representative said the WHO is committed to working with the commissioners to ensure the translation of health policies into actions,” Mulombo said.