Toyin Saraki, the Founder-President of the Wellbeing Foundation Africa has welcomed the African Union’s launch of two significant health commitments at this year’s African Union Summit as smart and necessary investments towards universal health. The Union pledged to create “ an agency to tackle global threats such as Ebola, and to make immunisation available throughout the continent by 2020”.
In her opinion editorial for Reuters , Mrs. Saraki, an Inaugural Fellow of the newly launched West African Academy of Public Health, and Chair of Nigeria’s Primary Healthcare Revitalisation Support Group, reflecting on the key pronouncements emerging from global and regional leaders at the just concluded Davos Meetings and the AU Summit, declared:
“As Chair of the Nigeria’s Primary Healthcare Revitalisation Support Group, I believe that primary healthcare investment, both from the private and public sector, is key to ensuring universal healthcare for all Nigerians.”
“At the World Economic Forum last week, healthcare leaders discussed the ‘Hospital of the Future’, and the panelist Dr.Elizabeth Nabel noted that: “We would like to take healthcare delivery systems as much in to the homes and in to the communities as possible because we believe we can deliver better care at lower costs. If you believe in value-based healthcare, the definition being patient measured outcomes defined by cost. We believe that outcomes will be better delivered in the homes and communities rather than hospitals. ”
“From a social investment perspective it is also a huge opportunity to see a social impact return on money invested. The nature of primary healthcare – the ability to monitor and manage delivery of, for example, the Wellbeing Foundation Africa’s Mamacare antenatal and postnatal health access through birth preparedness classes, or by the USAID-funded MPowering Healthworkers Program which engaged mobile-technologies in training midwives in Ondo State of Nigeria– means that money invested in, can be quantified by results gained. For innovative social impact investors, there is an opportunity here for collaboration between both the central and state level governments in Nigeria to fund real change.”
“The imperative of fulfilling rights-based social contracts with citizens should rightly be fulfilled at the most accessible, visible and tangible levels, for the battle to deliver good health and a great education, will be won (or lost) at the strata of primary healthcare and early childhood development through primary education.”
“By changing course and delivering on existing domestic and international commitments to invest in health, education and fight corruption, the Government of Nigeria has the opportunity to save millions of lives, leverage on in-country, regional and global support for health, and build a more productive, prosperous and secure Nigeria.”