Minister Calls For Investment In Health Sector
- Written by Oluwafemi Olowookere
The Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Adewole has called on stakeholders in the health sector not to perceive the sector as expenditure oriented but as a business venture where there will be return on investments.
The Minister made the call in Abuja today at a stakeholders meeting involving House Committee on Healthcare Services, Women Advocates for Vaccine Access (WAVA) and the Media.
The Minister said that stakeholders in the health sector should not perceive the sector as expenditure oriented but as a business venture where by people should invest in and expect it to yield dividends.
He noted that there are opportunities abound in the sector for local production of vaccines adding that the Federal Government had created an enabling environment for pharmaceutical companies to locally produce drugs.
To this end, he said that the Federal Government was going into public private partnership with May and Baker Pharmaceutical companies for local vaccine production in the next two years.
He said that he was favorably disposed to locally manufactured drugs which would save the country foreign currency which would have been expended on drug importation adding that about 730 million US Dollars was needed for vaccine procurement for 2017 and 2018.
Earlier, the Deputy House Committee Chairman on Healthcare Services, Hon.Mohammed Nguan while stressing the importance of immunization in the health system which is largely funded by partners which he said was not a good thing, however advocated for the increase in budget for health, implementation of 1% as provided in the National Health Act as well as state health financing in the health sector and lack of policy document to empower local production of vaccines.
In her remarks, the wife of the Senate President and Founder ‘Wellbeing Foundation’, Mrs.Toyin Saraki, emphasized on the importance of accountability and transparency. She was quoted saying: ‘’without accountability and transparency, we cannot make progress as a nation and not as several groups of people with varied interests’’.
She lamented that in Nigeria, it is sad that routine immunization data is poor and the administrative data does not correlate with the vaccine preventable burden adding that Nigeria needs to take concrete steps, now more than ever to correct this anomaly, and several viable trusted evident –based options available to it.
‘’We must go full throttle on them in order to save the lives of our children from vaccine preventable diseases’’. She added.