Nigeria’s out- of- pocket healthcare expenditure burden highest in African Region- WHO

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By Joyce Remi-Babayeju

The World Health Organization, WHO, Representative in Nigeria, Dr. Walter Kazadi Mulombo, has said that Nigeria’s out-of-pocket healthcare expenditure burden as the highest in the African Region.

Dr. Mulombo mentioned this at the 64th meeting with the theme “Building Resilience and Inclusive Healthcare System for a Healthy Nigeria” held at Ado Ekiti State held on 13- 17 , November.

He therefore noted that the out-of-pocket healthcare expenditure is also responsible for a prevalence in non-communicable diseases and related diseases, adding to change this narrative Nigeria’s health sector certainly requires an uncommon reform.

Mulombo said, “with the burden of out-of-pocket expenditure on health which is the highest in the region, a growing burden of non-communicable diseases on the background of high burden of communicable diseases, high maternal and childhood mortality rates, an unpredictable landscape in terms of multiple health emergencies, and a growing population, the health sector in Nigeria certainly requires an uncommon reform.”

The WHO Lead, commended the Federal Government’s Renewed Hope Agenda on Health aimed at putting strategies and structure together to ensure that health is a human right and the duty of government to reduce poverty and for economic development.

According to him, the NCH gives opportunities to leaders in both the Federal and State Ministries of Health and partners to evaluate , implement and co-create new ideas, and take far-reaching decisions on the future of the health sector in Nigeria.

“Indeed, the sub-themes of this 64th NCH are very appropriate as they focus on the critical issues of health workforce, evidence-based research and development, health systems governance and access towards Universal Health Coverage (UHC), digital transformation in health, and innovative financing.”

Dr. Mulombo commended the Coordinating Minister of Health and Social Welfare, Prof. Muhammad Ali Pate for his dodgedness in focussing on the enormous work to reform the health sector.

He called for a global radical shift from mere concepts to clear actions with measurable results in line with the recommitment of member
2 / 2 states at the international conference to celebrate the 45th anniversary of Alma-Ata and 5th anniversary of Astana declarations on primary health care in Astana Kazakhstan, last month.

“My expectation therefore is for this NCH to leverage on the strengths and opportunities of each tier of government to come up with feasible, less complex, and sustainable strategies that will work for the Federal and State Governments, in overcoming these challenges under the Health Sector Renewal Investment Program.”
Furthermore, Mulombo reaffirmed WHO’s commitment towards providing technical support for the health care needs in Nigeria.

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