The Representative of the World Health Organisation (WHO) in Nigeria, Dr Walter Mulombo, has commended Nigeria on the Basic Healthcare Provision Fund (BHCPF).
The fund is intended to boost access to healthcare in the country.
The BHCPF is the one per cent of the Federal Government’s consolidated revenue and contributions from donor agencies set aside to fund the basic health needs of Nigerians.
Mulombo gave the commendation in a statement posted on the website of the WHO Regional Office for Africa.
According to the statement, the WHO representative gave the commendation at an event to mark the Universal Health Coverage (UHC) which is globally celebrated on Dec. 12.
UHC meant that all individuals and communities received the health services they needed without suffering financial hardship.
It included the full spectrum of essential, quality health services, from health promotion to prevention, treatment, rehabilitation and palliative care.
“Health is a fundamental human rights and no one should be denied quality health services for financial or other barriers.
“Nigeria is on track with its efforts at providing quality care to the people.
“The country is on track at providing care for people everywhere, anywhere through primary healthcare revitalisation and leveraging on BHCPF, which indeed is one of the nine-point next level agenda of Nigeria,’’ Mulombo said.
Knowing that health for all required investments and action by all stakeholders, he urged the government, development partners, civil societies, communities and everyone to rally toward achieving UHC.
Mulombo urged stakeholders and everyone to rally toward achieving UCH so that all people could enjoy good health and wellbeing.
“At WHO, we are placing emphasis on high impact areas, such as supporting whole-of-system reforms and exploring innovative ways to get more services to people, including using information technology,” he said.
In his remarks, Dr Osagie Ehanire, Minister of Health, reiterated commitment to ensuring all Nigerians had access to quality healthcare.
Ehanire said though the country had poor health indices, the Federal Government was committed to repositioning the healthcare sector to ensure all Nigerians had access to quality healthcare they needed without falling into poverty.
“UHC Day reminds us of our most urgent priority: providing quality healthcare services for the wellbeing of our citizens,” he said.
According to him, the attainment of UHC is a high priority for the government and reforms are already happening to make quality services available, to more people, with stronger financial risk protection.
“It is everybody’s right to have access to quality healthcare, whenever and everywhere.
“Any country that wants to have a healthy and viable workforce needs to be able to provide quality healthcare as there is nothing as damaging than an unhealthy population, especially from diseases that can easily be prevented,” the minister said.
He said the Federal Ministry of Health and its agencies were working painstakingly to provide better access to higher quality service.
He added that the ministry was working with partners to provide improved service, increase community demand and improve health systems resilience, toward building the functionality needed to attain UHC.
“It is based on this that the Federal Government is striving to rehabilitate and revitalise the primary healthcare as the bedrock of development of the health sector.
“The newly revised BHCPF Guidelines is expected to be used to establish one primary healthcare centre per political ward where Nigerians will be able to access health services with a reasonable financial implication,” he explained.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that BHCPF is the fundamental funding provision under the National Health Act and was appropriated for the first time in the 2018 budget since the Act was signed in 2014.
It sought to remove financial barriers to accessing primary healthcare, particularly for the poor and vulnerable alongside Primary Health Care Under One Roof. (NAN)