Mrs Toyin Saraki, Founder Wellbeing Foundation Africa has taken the campaign for Universal Health Coverage to the World Economic Forum in Davos.
Saraki who spoke at high level meetings, disclosed her interventions in the area of health coverage and called on the international community, national Governments and influential individuals to ensure that 2018 is the year of Universal Health Coverage (UHC).
Mrs Saraki who is also the wife of the President of the Nigerian Senate, has been involved in campaigns in Nigeria and beyond focused majorly on maternal and child health.
She spoke at the “High-Level Panel Discussion on Women, Adolescent’s and Children’s Health” hosted by the World Bank’s Global Financing Facility as well as other meetings that focused on women, children and healthcare.
Speaking at the conference, Mrs saraki said: “The power of health partnerships in Global development has contributed to the Wellbeing Foundation’s success in bringing world innovation to rural healthworkers’ training on Emergency Management of Obstetric and Newborn Care through our collaboration with Johnson & Johnson, and the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine”
“This week at Davos, as a Global UHC Champion and Inaugural Goodwill Ambassador of the International Confederation of Midwives (ICM), I have been responding to the questions: Why UHC? Why now?”
“I agree wholeheartedly with WHO DG, Dr Tedros that UHC is the best way to create a shared future in a fractured world – it not only provides ‘Health for All’ but also reduces poverty, drives economic growth and promotes gender equality.”
“At this year’s World Economic Forum I have advocated for midwives as a key engine-starter towards the success of our shared pursuit of better health outcomes, as midwives are well placed to deliver, develop, nurture and counsel all families from birth to age.”
“To achieve UHC, and enduring health security, we must ensure that we consider all aspects of health service delivery, from education of health workers, healthcare infrastructure – including at primary healthcare level – service delivery, education of patients, and ensuring there is efficient data for immunisation and follow-up care.”
“In my native Nigeria there has been progress over the last year.
“Last July the Senate President launched the Legislative Network for Universal Health Coverage and the Senate has resolved to mandate its Committee on Appropriations to include the one percent Consolidated Revenue Fund (CRF) for the Basic Health Care Provision Fund (BHCPF), meaning that the Fund will be in the budget for the first time.” She said.
Mrs Saraki however noted that there was still a long way to go as health care expenditure continue to push about 100 million people into poverty around the world.
She decried that the average life expectancy in Nigeria remained 53 years old adding that there was an urgent need to make year 2018 the year of Universal Health Coverage.
“I am confident that together we can create a shared future for health services across Africa,” she said. (NAN)