Abel Leonard/ Lafia
Nasarawa state government says investment is needed to accelerate progress towards Universal Health Coverage, and to protect individuals from financial hardship in accessing needed care, improve service coverage.
This was disclosed during a press briefing by the commissioner for health pharm. Ahmed B. Yahaya, outlining programmes marking the World Health Day in Nasarawa state adding that the WHO is calling on everyone to participate in building a better healthier world.
The commissioner said there are several shades of inequities, gender based discrimination, income, education among others, saying, recent data has shown that ” a person with secondary school education is three times likely to have access to contraception as someone who has not attended school”
” those in the highest economic level are five times more likely to deliver their babies in health facilities and have their babies vaccinated with BCG compared to those in the lowest economic level” he said.
He further stressed on the need to overcome inequities, as there is limited data showing who is being missed out and why, adding that the national information systems need to capture age, sex and equity stratified data which can be used to inform decision and policy making.
He also said that most African countries have initiated reforms in some health areas which is believed will contribute to building more resilient health systems and societies.
Moving forward, the health boss said leaders need to work together to address inequities in their own countries in the spirit of international solidarity, working across sectors to improve living and working conditions, access to education especially for the most marginalized groups.
On covid 19 pandemic, phar. Yahaya said the virus has shown a light of inequality between people, amidst shortages of essential supplies, explaining that poor people have been pushed to the back in accessing covid 19 test kits, personal protective equipment and vaccines.
On the issue of insufficient covid19 vaccines, the commissioner is urging pharmaceutical companies to expand their manufacturing capacities to overcome current supply shortages, also encouraging wealthy individuals to partner with state so that the most at risk in all countries could be protected.
He therefore added that the ministry of health under his watch will remain committed towards ensuring that the people in the state would realize the right to good health, urging state and non- state actors, partners, civil society, communities and other stakeholders to intensify work with state to achieve Universal Health Coverage.