COVID-19: Summit urges Nigeria to lead debt relief for health access, bio-security | Dailytrust

COVID-19: Summit urges Nigeria to lead debt relief for health access, bio-security

President Muhammadu Buhari receiving the booster dose of the COVID-19 vaccine from his Personal Physician, Dr. Suhayb Rafindadi, at the Presidential Villa in Abuja yesterday
President Muhammadu Buhari receiving the booster dose of the COVID-19 vaccine from his Personal Physician, Dr. Suhayb Rafindadi, at the Presidential Villa in Abuja yesterday

The National Summit on COVID-19 has urged the Federal Government to galvanize other nations to demand for debt relief from international creditors so that resources could be channeled towards improving access to Universal Health Coverage (UHC) and building national bio-security.

This is contained in the communique of the just concluded National COVID-19 Summit held in Abuja released on Wednesday.

The summit was aimed at bringing all stakeholders together to discuss ‘ending the pandemic’ and with the theme: “Pushing Through the Last Mile to End the Pandemic and Build Back Better”.

Participants noted that it was auspicious for Nigeria to come to front given the impact of COVID-19 on developing economies, which has worsened their debt situation.

Among other resolutions, the federal government was also urged to consider building a structure for the management of national bio-security in view of the global experiences from the COVID-19 pandemic as well as sustain the current level of engagement with the organized private sector in strengthening the health sector.

“Government should strengthen the collaboration between the national and sub-national entities for improved partnership on primary health care delivery and vaccination uptake,” the communique said.

The summit recognized the need for building the capacity for local vaccine manufacturing and ramping up of COVID-19 vaccination uptake in the country.

They also emphasized the need for the strengthening the Accountability Framework for COVID-19 Response and Health Security in Nigeria, fill identifiable gaps in governance and resourcing and noting the significant role for the private sector in bridging resource gaps on national health security.

The communique was jointly signed by Dr. Aminu Magashi, Coordinator Africa Health Budget (for Coalition of CSOs); Pharm Frank Mounemeh, Pharmaceutical Manufacturers Group of Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (for the private sector); Dr. Betta Edu, Honorable Commissioner Cross River State (for forum of commissioners of health in Nigeria); Dr. Ibrahim Yahaya Oloriegbe, Chairman Senate Committee on Health (for the National Assembly); and Mr. Boss Mustapha, Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) and Chairman, Presidential Steering Committee (PSC) on COVID-19.

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