Last Thursday, Mrs. Toyin Saraki chaired the first meeting of the Contact Group of the Primary Healthcare (PHC) Revitalisation Program. The meeting was co-chaired by Dr Benjamin Anyene of Herfon, was also attended by Representatives of the House Committee for Health Services, both Committee Chair and Deputy-Chair and was also attended by representatives from the World Health Organization, the ONE Campaign and UNICEF.
At the meeting, Mrs. Saraki “urged the Federal Government of Nigeria to fully implement the National Health Care Act, to guarantee that the right care is available and accessible at the right place, and right time, to save the lives of millions of Nigerians who are currently without access to healthcare and medicines.”
“The target of revitalizing our primary health care infrastructure and services to provide right care at right time affordably towards universal health coverage cannot be achieved without sustained and sustainable funding; we urge all stakeholders to consider unexplored linkages with the Federal Government’s National Health Insurance Scheme as supported by the Saving One Million Lives Initiative as a source of community driven community delivered anchorage to federal effect, character and impact funding, sustainably” Mrs Saraki ended.
The Federal Government of Nigeria pledged that they would revitalise 109 Primary Healthcare Centres, one in each senatorial district. The PHC Revitalisation Program was launched by His Excellency President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday 11 January at the commissioning of Kuchigoro Primary Health Centre, Abuja.
Buttressing this advocacy to global development partners, Mrs Toyin Saraki, the Founder-President of the Wellbeing Foundation Africa who attended a meeting with Melinda Gates hosted by the Wife of the President of Nigeria HE Aisha Buhari on 19th January 2016 observed, noting,
“It is why we at the Wellbeing Foundation Africa have worked tirelessly to deliver frontline programming actions to combat the dire indices of maternal, newborn, child, and adolescent health mortality and morbidity, from birth to age – actions which have seen our nation’s preventable mortality indices improve from 1 in 6 pregnant women and newborns dying in 2004, to 1 in 12 women and newborns today.”
“We can fast track our improvements, and we must fast track our improvements, for as we face, in the north-east of our beloved nation, the ravages of insurgency, conflict and displacement, all of which wind development backwards, as we strive to restore services that rehabilitate lives and dignity, we know that it is only by strengthening public health, public education and socio-economic services nationally, that we can build and consolidate the resilience needed to cope in challenged regions, for vulnerable citizens. Nowhere is this more important than in primary education, primary healthcare, and adolescent wellbeing services.
“Nigeria’s Joint Sectors Primary Health Care Revitalisation Committee, which I chair, calls upon governmental policymakers and legislators to fully implement the National Health Care Act, in which the adherence to 1% of the Consolidated Revenue Fund can create an unprecedented impact across the Nigerian stage, in upgrading the revitalisation of Nigeria’s 22000 existing Primary Health Centres to the higher standards of Maternity Referral Centres, to save the lives of 3,131,510 mothers, newborns and children under the age of five years, at the primary health warfront where the lives and wellbeing of our citizens are gained and lost, by 2022.”