Atinuke Nukay /Tntv Network
The Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire says government has recognised the importance of Universal Health Coverage (UHC) in National Health System as part of social protection architecture for all Nigerians.
Speaking while declaring open the 3rd Annual Health Conference organized by the Association of Nigeria Health Journalists (ANHEJ), in Abuja on Thursday, the minister said that the country was committed to meeting the targets by implementing policies and programmes that would ensure coverage of women and children.
The minister further disclosed that the SDG goal 3, which has 13 targets, is focus on ensuring healthy lives and promoting the well-being of people.
The Federal Government through the ministry of health has reaffirmed its commitment towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) 3 and other national health targets in the country.
Earlier in his key note address, the Country Director of U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) Health Policy Plus Project, Dr Gafar Alawode, said that the performance of Nigeria towards achieving UHC was not encouraging.
Alawode stressed the need to do more to improve its performance toward achieving UHC adding that UHC means that all people and communities can use the preventive, curative, rehabilitative and palliative health services they need without experiencing financial hardship.
Alawode urged journalists to support the ongoing reforms in the health sector such as BHCPF and State Social Health Insurance by ensuring adequate coverage of activities.
On his part, Hassan Zaggi, the President of ANHEJ, in his welcome address urged government agencies, Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) and international organisations to collaborate with journalists for effective coverage of the sector.
The event which had as theme; ‘’ Nigeria’s increasing population, achieving Universal Health Coverage (UHC) and Sustainable Development Goal 9SDG) 3: Any hope?’’ was apt as it is in line with the current discussions within the health sector as led by the United Nations.
Seven notable Nigerians were also bestowed Award by ANHEJ for their contributions to the development of the health sector in the country.
Some of the awardees were Prof. Onyebuchi Chukwu, Former Minister of Health, Mrs Moji Makanjuola, a veteran broadcast journalist who worked and retired with NTA and Dr Godwill Okara, a renowned medical laboratory scientist.