On Tuesday, 13 February, 2016 in Abuja, WBFA Founder Toyin Saraki, Chair of Nigeria Health CSO’s National Assembly Primary Healthcare Revitalisation Support Group PHCRSG hosted a meeting with the Development Partners Group which included the Country Director of WHO, USAID, UNICEF, UNFPA, JICA, DfID, PEPFAR, the US Center for Disease Control and Prevention CDC, the European Union, and the ONE Campaign, among several others. The meeting was convened by Mrs. Saraki and attended by the Chief Executive Officer of Nigeria’s Primary Health Care Development Agency NPHCDA to measure the progress of the Group and chart the ways forward to strengthen the primary healthcare systems in Nigeria.
The inception of the PHC Revitalisation Support Group began after last year’s Public Hearing on “The Revitalisation of Primary Healthcare in Nigeria to Avert a Disaster in the Health Sector”, led by the Honourable Chike Okafor and Honorable Mohammed Usman, Chair and Deputy Chair, House of Representatives’ Committee on Healthcare Services, and Honourable David Emanuel Ombugudu, Chair House of Representatives Committee on HIV-AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria.
Mrs. Saraki noted at the meeting: “we are especially pleased to have the Development Partners Group (DPG) join us in this chase for the improvement of the livelihoods of Nigerians, starting from the communities-level, and building up. As multilaterals, bilateral and expert organisations in the field of health and development, the importance of your contributions to our cause cannot be overemphasised, as we seek an inclusion of the Basic Healthcare Provision Fund in the statutory transfers, as generated from at least 1% of the Consolidated Revenue Fund (CRF), which, from current expectations of revenues for 2017, stand at 49 billion naira. This is in line with the National Health Act, and must also strive for improvements in the budget proposals for immunization, nutrition, HIV/AIDS, family planning, as well as provisions for the personnel, overheads and operational budget of the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS).”
The Honourable Chike Okafor also spoke and stated that: “We are ready to take this advocacy to the President of the Senate. We are fighting for everyone, not ourselves or our pockets. We will keep fighting as long as we have the capacity and position to do so until we get that 1% CRF inclusion.”
Mrs Saraki and her PHCRSG Co-Chair Dr Ben Anyene closed the meeting reaffirming Mrs Saraki’s commitment as Chair: “As we move on with the PHC Revitalisation Support Group, including advocacy visits to the leadership of the National Assembly, I want to reaffirm my commitment to be an active part of the process, and to pave the way in all of my capacity, as a strong advocacy voice for the improvement of funding, health infrastructure/equipment and human resources for health, at the primary healthcare level. We know that an efficient and effective PHC system can cater to the healthcare needs and services of our populace. The battle for citizens’ wellbeing and accountability will be won at the primary health warfront.”
The PHC meeting coincided with the first day of the African Healthcare Summit which was attended by the global team of the Wellbeing Foundation Africa in London, United Kingdom. The summit will continue for two more days.
“I welcome all our global and African partners to London today, to discuss how we build stronger, effective, efficient and therefore more resilient healthcare systems, especially as we go through the Fourth Industrial Revolution. We can use technology to inspire and revolutionise the future and development of our nations,” Mrs Saraki said.