Thursday, January 23, 2020

Why Nigerians are denied of quality healthcare -Sen. Ohuabunwa

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Why Nigerians are denied of quality healthcare -Sen. Ohuabunwa

Chairman, Senate Committee on Primary Health Care and Communicable
Diseases, Senator Mao Ohuabunwa, has identified over-dependency on
foreign donor to finance Nigerian health sector as a major reason the
nation has failed to enjoy quality health and universal health coverage.

He has also attributed under-funding of National Health Insurance Scheme
and rise in health tourism as some of the reasons the country is yet to
have efficient and effective health system.

He stated these last weekend in Abuja at the 2018 edition of
Young Medical Laboratory Scientists Forum YMLSF, National Summit.

The summit had the theme: “Antimicrobial Resistance: A Global Health
Challenge in the fight for sustainable Health System.”

Ohuabunwa who was represented by his Senior Assistant, Mr Uche Okoli,
said the 8th National Assembly was working round the clock to ensure
provision of qualities health facilities in the country.

He said: “Today, you have asked me to give a short address on using
legislative policies to address public health challenge, and this is an
issue I have been fully committed to at the National Assembly.

“It is necessary to commence here by saying that our nation and policy
making bodies have not taken sufficient responsibilities in providing
for the best health care system for every Nigerians.

“Our health care system still depends on 75% global funding leaving
Nigeria’s hovering around 25% of the funding needs.

“Also, the Nigeria Health Insurance Scheme is under-funded by government
at all levels, while facility are badly managed by the health ministry
as health tourism is on the increase.

He however expressed that for Nigeria to have the desired best health
care system, all hands must be on desk through a robust and increased
budgetary allocation at all levels of governments.

“Apart from that, there should be the need for institutionalization of
a National Immunization trust fund and be funded by both the private and
public sector, another way forward is implementation of the Nigerian
2014 National Health Act, as well as the need to create enabling
environment for local production.”

Ohuabunwa therefore, charged the YMLSF to channel their energy to
deliberate on numerous health challenges facing the nation and proffer a
lasting solution.

Speaking also, chairman of the occasion and former Vice Chancellor,
University of Calabar, Prof. James Epoke, described AMR threat as the
“largest cloud looming over humanity.

He said: “the theme for this year is very apt because AMR has done a
lot of damage to humanity, and this kind of gathering should be always
put in place to deliberate on how to proffer solution to the scourge.”

In his opening remark, the National president of YMLSF, Okeke Obinna,
called on government to improve on the care for patient with
Antimicrobial resistance.

He said objective of the summit is to provide the platform to
effectively develop strategies to combat the global threats of AMR and
channel for capacity building for medical laboratory scientists, as well
as other health professionals that militate against forum at jugular.

According to him, the cost of health care for patients with resistant
infections is higher than care for patients with non-resistant infection
due to longer duration of illness, additional laboratory investigations
and use of more expensive drugs.

“In 2016 alone according to WHO, over 490,000 people developed
Multi-Drug Resistance TB MRTB globally, and drug resistance is starting
to complicate the fight against HIV and malaria as well.

“Antimicrobial resistance occurs naturally over time, usually through
genetic changes. However, the misuse and overuse of Antimicrobials are
accelerating the process. In many places, antibiotics are overused and
misused in people and animal and often given without professional
oversight,” he said.

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