The Lancet Nigeria Commission report has proposed a new social contract centred on health in the country.
The report tagged ‘Investing in health and future of the nation’ said that would address Nigeria’s need to define the relationship between the citizens and the state.
The University College London (UCL)-led report also recommended that prevention be at the heart of health policy, given Nigeria’s young population.
Speaking during the global launch of the report in Abuja, Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, said the report also called for a ‘One nation, one health’ policy to attain Universal Health Coverage (UHC), and to particularly benefit segments of the population bearing the highest disease burden.
The vice president said it also proposes that government should lead the development of standards for the digitisation of health records and better data collection, registration and quality assurance systems.
“And this objective of a new social compact is important if we are to meet constitutional guarantees encapsulated in the right to life to our citizenry and the primary aspiration of the fundamental objectives of the Nigerian state – the wellbeing of the Nigerian citizen,” he said.
While saying that the country welcomes innovation and fresh thinking to further improve its health outcomes, he said the timing of the publication is apt as President Buhari just inaugurated the Health Reform Committee.
Secretary to the Government of the Federation Boss Mustapha said in order to become responsive to the needs of the people, the country must invest in the healthcare system.
He said there is need for increased healthcare funding as the country recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Minister of State for Health, Dr Adeleke Mamora, who was represented by the Director Public Health of the ministry, Dr Morenike Alex-Okoh, said the country must engage in the findings of the commission to ensure that all hands are on deck towards achieving Universal Health Coverage (UHC).
Presenting the report, Prof Ibrahim Abubakar, Dean, University College London (UCL) said the commission comprised a team of top experts from across Nigeria and around the world.
He said findings of the report include the need to rationalize service delivery at federal, state and local government levels; boost innovation to lead the African continent, stem brain drain and redirect human resources to primary healthcare level via joint planning and incentives.
He said, “Nigeria urgently needs to improve access to healthcare by improving health financing and the efficiency of existing spending. Our report offers specific recommendations on innovation financing and specific interventions to improve healthcare staffing, information systems and access to care for all.”