Bill and Melinda Gates-funded project, anchored by the development Research and Projects Centre (dRPC) will today join other experts at the future of health conference to discuss financing and the benefit of investing in reproductive health and rights.he PACFaH@Scale, a
The event, with the theme “The political economy of health; investing in the future of Nigeria,” aims to provide a high-level platform for key stakeholders in policy, governance, economics and healthcare to discuss the factors that influence Nigeria’s health policies.
The experts will focus on how political, social and economic factors shape individual and population health outcomes; health service development within the economic and political context, and how to create a national health service that meets the needs of all Nigerians.
The president of the Society of Gynaecology and Obstetrics of Nigeria (SOGON) and the project director SOGON- PACFAH @Scale project, Habib Sadauki, will speak in the first-panel session tagged “The Economy of health”.
Mr Sadauki will speak on the benefit of investing in reproductive health rights. She will also highlight the importance of health financing with a focus on women and children.
Other speakers in the first session are Lancet Nigeria commissioner, Obinna Onwujekwe; Special Adviser to the Nigerian President on finance and economy, Sarah Alade; a senior health specialist at the World Bank Group, Onoriode Ezire and founder, flying doctors healthcare investment company, Ola Brown.
Stay on this page as PREMIUM TIMES provides live updates of the session scheduled to commence by 10:50 a.m.
01:02 p.m: This brings us to the end of the session. The panelists are leaving the podium and it’s a wrap.
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01:00 p.m: She said President Muhammadu Buhari is concerned about the healthcare system and the NDP has provided a broader perspective on approaches to take.
12:59 p.m: Ms Alade, the Special Adviser to the Nigerian president on finance and economy, takes the mic. She said there is a need to encourage investors to see opportunities and reasons why they should invest in the country.
12:56 p.m: Mr Sadauki said maternal mortality has also increased as a result of insecurity. He said all of these challenges must be addressed to prevent population explosion in the country.
12:54 p.m: He noted that the country needs to step up efforts in addressing insecurity, especially in the northern part of the country. He said many women no longer have access to contraceptives due to ongoing security issues.
12:53 p.m: He said the government must prioritise the allocation of more resources to Family Planning and reproductive healthcare systems.
12:51 p.m: He said the low usage of contraceptives has been worsened by declined funding of Family Planning. He said last year, the government failed to include a line for family planning.
12:48 p.m: Mr Sadauki, the president of SOGON and the project director SOGON- PACFAH @Scale project, is speaking on the fertility rate in Nigeria and the north in specific. He said there is a close relationship between poverty and healthcare.
12:44 p.m: He said until “we get our governance right, we cannot achieve a lot.” He noted that issues of corruption need to be addressed in the country’s system.
12:42 p.m: Mr Onwujekwe takes the mic. He said he is an advocate for more health with available resources. He said the federal government needs to get the budget right in order to achieve a substantial result.
12:39 p.m: He said the importance of accountability and transparency in nation-building is inevitable. He said stakeholders must support states and local government to produce a strong accountability framework.
12:36 p.m: The next panellist, Mr Ezire, is speaking on health priorities. He said if nothing is done urgently, PHC will be de-emphasised. He said state and local government and other stakeholders must come on board and work together.
12:34 p.m: Ms Brown said technology investment is crucial to achieving effective healthcare delivery.
12:32 p.m: The moderator takes the podium to continue the panellist discussion. He calls Ms Brown to speak on technology investment.
12:25 p.m: Ms Brown ends her presentation and leaves the podium.
12:24 p.m: She explained that investing in healthcare is a vital way to solve unemployment issues in the country. “If we reposition healthcare as a solution to all Nigeria’s problems, then we can find solutions to the larger problems facing our society,” she said.
12:22 p.m: Ms Brown said healthcare is directly and indirectly linked to all of these challenges. She said many people are choosing other developed countries because healthcare has solved the challenges of many countries around the world.
12:21 p.m: She said the insecurity challenges in the country have further worsened the situation as people no longer feel safe in their homes. She said this is coupled with a lack of opportunities for young people in the country.
12:20 p.m: She said the young population are leaving the country in large numbers due to poor healthcare delivery in Nigeria.
12:18 p.m: Ms Ola takes the podium for her presentation. She said the government needs to look at healthcare in a holistic way and most importantly, ensure it solves problems.
12: 17 p.m: The next panellist is the founder, flying doctors healthcare investment company, Ola Brown.
12:14 p.m: He said government at all levels must prioritise health and learn from the lessons of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Mr Ezire ends his presentation and leaves the podium.
12:12 p.m: He said the productivity of the country is a function of the state and the status of the health of the people.
12:10 p.m: He said investment in health is directly related to the economy.
12:07 p.m: Mr Ezire said the importance of allocating more resources to health can not be over-emphasised. He said population size must be considered when allocating funds to the health sector.
12:06 p.m: The next panellist, Senior health specialist World Bank Group, Onoriode Ezire, takes the podium to give his presentation.
12:05 p.m: He said until the country invests and addresses population explosion, nothing can be achieved in terms of national development.
12:02 p.m: He said family planning is key to addressing maternal and newborn death rates. He also said contraceptive information is central to achieving gender equality in the country.
12:01 p.m: He said some health indices like maternal mortality, and under-five mortality are strongly related to the economic development of the country.
12:00 p.m: Mr Sadauki said the way a country finances its health care system is a major determinant of the health of its people. He said several studies have shown that the health of a nation significantly boosts its economic development.
11:58 a.m: He said only 22 per cent of women are using any method of family planning noting that health is key to any developing nation.
11:57 a.m: He said by 2050, the country’s population is estimated to be 543 million. He said there is growing disparity across the country with regards to fertility rate.
11:56 a.m: Mr Sadauki takes the podium to give his presentation. He said Nigeria has a population of over 200 million people and an annual growth rate of 3.2 per cent.
11:55 a.m: The moderator, Mr Okunola, takes the podium to introduce the next panellist, president of SOGON and the project director of SOGON- PACFAH @Scale project, Habib Sadauki.
11:54 a.m: Mr Onwujekwe ends his presentation and leaves the podium.
11:53 a.m: He said the country needs to improve efficiency to achieve good health. He said thoughtful use of existing institutions is an approach to achieve better governance and prioritisation of health.
11:51 a.m: Mr Onwujekwe said the capital investment in Africa is very low. He said investment should be the focus for health actors in the region.
11:50 a.m: The next panellist, Lancet Nigeria commissioner Obinna Onwujekwe takes the podium for his presentation.
11:48 a.m: She said no one is safe until everyone is safe. She ends her presentation.
11:46 a.m: She said the UHC is a basic economic growth engine and the current administration, having understood the nexus, has provided a strategic framework.
11:45 a.m: Ms Alade said the national progress so far in healthcare delivery is considerable but below the global threshold.
11:43 a.m: She said the healthcare and economy nexus is being amplified more than ever before by the pandemic. She said the National Development Plan (NDP) approaches its sustainability and ultimate success through human capital development.
11:42 a.m: She said the challenges include but are not limited to inadequate funding and low health insurance penetration.
11: 41 a.m: Ms Alade said healthcare is very important for every successful nation. She said the Nigeria health system has some challenges just like many African countries.
11:38 a.m: The first-panel session is tagged “The economy of health”. Mr Okunola welcomes the first panellist, Special Adviser to Nigerian president on finance and economy, Sarah Alade, to the podium.
11:35 a.m: The first-panel session is about to commence as the moderator, Senior health specialist, health population and nutrition, world bank, Olumide Okunola, takes the podium.
11:33 a.m: He said 83 million Nigerians are currently in the group. He ends his speech and leaves the podium.
11:32 a.m: Mr Sambo said the government has made health insurance compulsory for all Nigerians. He said the new NHIA law provides vulnerable group funds for people who cannot afford to pay premiums as recommended by the Lancet Nigeria Commission.
11:31 a.m: The Executive Secretary of the National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA), Mohammed Sambo, takes the podium to give his speech.
11:30 a.m: He said the country must take policy analysis very seriously. He ends his speech.
11:29 a.m: He said for an administration to be successful, there must be well-designed policies. “Oftentimes, our policies are not well designed, hence policies that work for other countries fail in Nigeria,” he said.
11:27 a.m: Speaking on administrative matters, he said the health sector must be handled by competent hands if the country must experience positive change.
11:24 a.m: Mr Osagie said a majority of leaders wait until there is a pandemic or epidemic before taking action. He said with or without outbreaks, health should always take the lead.
11:22 a.m: He said the general public has to engage in the battle of holding political leaders responsible. “We must let our leaders know that health is a key priority as no government can be successful without prioritising health,” he said.
11:20 a.m: He explained that a country that earns more should have the wherewithal to invest in health but some countries lack the political will to do so.
11:18 a.m: He said political will is another aspect to be taken seriously. He noted that if the political will is missing, not much can be achieved.
11:16 a.m: Mr Osagie said it is crucial for persons interested in health to be interested in the revenue generation and expenditure of the country. He said the country’s expenditure directly affects the budget for the health sector.
11:13 a.m: The chairman, Metis capital partners, Hakeem Osagie, is ready to give the opening presentation. He will be speaking virtually.
11:07 a.m: Mr Akabueze said the conference is timely and he looks forward to the outcome. He ends his speech and leaves the podium.
11:05 a.m: He said the government is also following the BHCPF closely to ensure it is distributed to states to achieve its purpose.
11:03 a.m: He also said the country must prioritise revitalising the Primary Health Care system (PHC) if it’s to achieve UHC. He said the Basic Health Care Provision Fund (BHCPF) is a move towards achieving success at the PHC level.
11:00 a.m: He said state and local governments also need to step up funding for health. He noted that local funding is critical to achieving health sustainability.
10:57 a.m: He said to further strengthen healthcare financing, the country needs to explore innovative ways to sustainably finance the health sector in Nigeria. “We are strengthening our partnership with private sectors in terms of capital projects,” he said.
10:55 a.m: Mr Akabueze said the government understands the need to significantly invest in the country’s health sector but there are certain challenges restricting this investment.
10:53 a.m: He however said the government’s ability to further finance health care services is constrained by revenue deficit. “This is coming at a time the COVID-19 pandemic continues to mount pressure on the health sector.”
10:51 a.m: He said the Nigerian government is also improving allocation to agriculture to ensure good security as well as Water Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH).
10:49 a.m: Mr Akabueze said there has been a remarkable increase in budget allocation to the healthcare sector since the beginning of the present administration. He said the allocation has more than doubled in the last five years.
10:48 a.m: He said aside from the major healthcare allocation, there are other health-related spendings that the government invests in at both federal, state and local government levels.
10:46 a.m: He said it is imperative to ensure significant investment to achieve health care delivery and also achieve Universal Health Care by the year 2030.
10:44 a.m: Mr Akabueze said the Nigerian government prioritises the health sector in budget planning. He said the government remains committed to providing effective healthcare services.
10:43 a.m; The Director General of the Budget Office of the Federation, Ben Akabueze, takes the podium to deliver the keynote speech. He is represented by Olubisi Ayodele.
10:40 a.m: She urges all stakeholders to be passionate about changing the health situation in Nigeria.
10:39 a.m; She said annually, the conference brings together inspiring speakers to fashion actionable steps towards solving some of the challenges facing the Nigerian health sector.
10:37 a.m: She said when the conference debuted in 2015, the theme was, defining the health sector of our dreams. “Today, we are still defining the health sector of our dream. This is the 8th Edition and we are excited to be hosting this event in person,” she said.
10:36 a.m: Ms Ihekweazu said the theme of the conference was chosen to redefine what the country’s health agenda should be. She said the political season affords us a window of opportunity to put health on the agenda of political discourse.
10:35 a.m: All is set for the commencement of the 2022 future of health conference. The Managing Director of Nigeria Health Watch, Vivianne Ihekweazu, takes the podium to give the opening remarks.
Among Nigeria’s numerous national challenges, which do you think the next president should focus on first?
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