As part of celebrations to mark the 2018 World health day celebration in Nigeria,the World health organization organized a health walk for team members and stakeholders in the health sector . The walk began from the WHO country office ,down to the ministry of health ,then to the eagle square ,and back to the country office .The health walk had series of activities such as dance ,display of songs and exercise.
The WHO country representative for Nigeria ,Dr Wondi Alemu ,said the walk was part of the activities lined up to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the organisation .,and also to mark the world health day
According to him,”every year we select theme,and use this to create awareness among the populace throughout the whole year .
This year’s theme, “Universal health coverage (UHC): everyone, everywhere”is reinforcing the need for access to health care services for all citizens ‘and we want to ensure that UHC is achieved in Nigeria ,and all over the world .
“We will ensure that everywhere Nigerians are located ,they will access health care service ,and ensure that all citizens have access to basic health care services ”
Speaking further he said engaging in regular exercise will help in reducing some of the non communicable diseases but life threatening disease that is arising at this time .
“We are encouraging Nigerians to make sure they engage in regular walk for at least thirty minutes ,three times in a week .By participating in this walk ,we have carried out crucial act that will help us to be in good health ”
Dr Alemu is therefore encouraging the Nigerian government to ensure that political will is realized to be able to use services that are available and also ensure that comprehensive health services is available at all times .
In the same vein he said ,Nigeria has made considerable progress since 2014 ,when we decided to go for universal health coverage .
It is however saddening that Nigeria is still one of the member states that is yet to achieve universal health coverage .
“The government is working towards achieving this mandate through the revitalized primary health care services .
The president launched a programme which is called community health influencers programme ,which is for strengthening health systems among the population ”
He said with the right resources coming into place ,Nigeria will be able to achieve this mandate by 2030″
“When we speak about UHC ,we should also talk about the quality of service ,and how it has to be improved .This is why the revitalization of the existing resources is very important so that people can have access to improved services ,where ever they live ,
We are also making interventions in some areas such as malaria ,by providing treated nets that will help reduce malaria scourge ”
Dr Alemu also called on Nigerians to place great emphasis on the social ,mental and physical health ,especially on preventative medicine
“Universal health coverage is also about preventive medicine ,you don’t have to wait till you are sick before receiving treatment ,we place too much emphasis on treatment
It involves living healthy and maintaining healthy lifestyles due to various health services being rendered .”
The WHO country representative is therefore calling on Nigerian government to commit more resources into attainment of universal health coverage ,as they have made commitment at a higher level ”
“The state will take it up,from the federal government ,what is remaining is to make the services available to every Nigerian .
The National health insurance scheme will be used by the government as a tool to promote and provide access to quality health services to citizens ,no matter where they are ,or their status ”
While speaking ,the WHO health systems adviser ,Dr Moses Onogom noted that
the country has clearly set an agenda for universal health coverage through Primary health care revitalization .
“We have come up with legal quality framework to be able to realize PHC revitalization mandate in the country ,and this is to ensure that each PHC
The national health act of 2014,is the vehicle that will ensure that the Basic health care provision fund ,which is expected to enable PHC revitalization take place ”
“50 percent of the money is meant to enable the NHIS scheme function at the state level,through the State health insurance scheme ,which will function through the primary Health care centres ”
In the same vein,he said 45% of the finance will enable PHC re functioning properly, provide adequate medicine ,and to ensure that the workers are motivated ,and have an acceptable level of service .
The target is to have up to 10,000 facilities working in the next two to three years ,he added .