Experts develop health manifesto ahead of 2023 elections | Dailytrust

Experts develop health manifesto ahead of 2023 elections

Medics
Medics

Experts have developed a health manifesto that should be prioritized by the political class ahead of the 2023 general elections.

They unveiled the citizen-led health agenda yesterday during a stakeholders workshop organized by the UHC 2023 Forum in collaboration with the Nigeria Governors’ Forum Secretariat and Chatham House.

The health manifesto is aimed at shaping the health policy direction of the major political parties and their flagbearers in the forthcoming general elections.

It also contains clear health goals based on national priorities and international benchmarks, and also identifies strategic policy shifts that should be prioritized by the political class toward achieving the health goals.

Gafar Alawode, a Universal Health Coverage (UHC) expert and Project Director, Prevent Epidemics Project called on the political class to incorporate the citizen-led agenda into their manifestoes and ensure they are implemented.

He said, “the whole idea of developing the agenda is to put health on the political front burner ahead of the 2023 elections.

“It is important because politics drive our policies and any policy that technocrats put together without the input and back up of the political class is not likely to see the light of the day.”

He said that is why stakeholders were drawn from civil society organisations, development partners, ministries, departments and agencies of government to brainstorm on the strategic policy shifts they want to see, and the commitments they want from the political class.

He said political parties need to put it in their manifestoes so that it forms the blueprint for reforming the health sector for whoever wins the election.

The Executive Director of the International Society of Media in Public Health (ISMPH), Moji Makanjuola, said the citizen-led health agenda would catalyse demand for improved healthcare.

 She said the country was still witnessing a huge gap in both service delivery and policy implementation in the health sector.

She said, “recent research publication of the Lancet Nigeria Commission and the just concluded PHC summit findings, expressly speak to the fact that as a nation we need to do things differently such as giving health the political engine it needs to drive for sustainable improvement, create demand and ensure accountable and efficient use of available resources.”

Dr Ahmad Abdulwahab, Senior Health Advisor, Nigeria Governors’ Forum Secretariat said the secretariat was committed to transmitting the recommendations to governors as health is important for every country’s national progress.

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