The Honourable Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire has said the Federal Government is ready to partner with any organization in a bid to upscale the entire value system of Primary Health Care in Nigeria.
Dr Ehanire made this known when the Federal Ministry of Health (FMoH) played host to a Delegation of Resolve To Save Lives (RTSL) on Thursday, 4th August, 2022 in Abuja.
The Honourable Minister who took advantage of the visit to strengthen the already established relationship between the Ministry and the Organization, commended them for what they have been able to do for the country over the years, particularly in the Health Sector, in the area of prevention of epidemics and reduction of cardiovascular diseases.
He noted that Non-Communicable Diseases (NCD) is taking a large chunk of the problem of developing countries and is on the rise in Nigeria but expressed the optimism that with partnership with relevant stakeholders and organizations such as RTSL, the country will quickly overcome its burden.
Dr Ehanire further stated that the issue of cardiovascular diseases is on the front burner of the Federal Government and as such, committed to strengthening Primary Health Care level in order to increase the capacity of the delivery of health services so that people who require treatment can be easily identified.
According to him: “The focus of the Ministry is on developing Health Care at the grass root level; the entire value chain in the Health Sector is not complete unless we strengthen the Primary Health Care.
“We need to have better Primary Health Care Centres, better Staff, better communication, technology, telemedicine, Staff Quarters that allows care givers to function 24 hours per day.”
He also hinted that the newly empowered National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA) has a new mandate to make Health Insurance mandatory and to expand the minimum of basic service to include screening for hypertension and other cardiovascular diseases and free medication for those identified.
Speaking earlier, the Global President and Leader of the Delegation of the Resolve To Save Lives Dr Tom Frieden said that RTSL is a global organization with presence in 64 countries around the world including Nigeria, with focus on two programmes; prevent epidemics and reduce cardiovascular diseases.
Dr Frieden explained that the area of prevent epidemics programme, the organization partners countries to strengthen systems to find and stop infectious disease outbreak and other health threat before they spread using an approach called 7-1-7; which is that every outbreak would be identified within 7 days of emergence, reported within 1 day and all the essential measures in place within 7 days.
For the cardiovascular area, he explained that the approach is elimination of artificial trans fat from the global food supply by 2023, increase global control of hypertension to 50% and reduce the global intake of salt by 30%.
He further explained that RTSL collaborates with local and national governments as well as global organisations to help scale up proven strategies to reach these goals adding that the strategies and goals are aligned with World Health Organisation (WHO) technical packages.
Dr Frieden also commended the government for the Hypertension Control Initiative which was launched in 2019 with about 16,000 people currently on treatment in Kano and Ogun States.
He assured that RTSL is committed to partnering with the Ministry towards achieving it goals of scaling up Primary Health Care but maintained that law and regulation was a necessity as according to him: “law and regulation is the royal road to health.”
Present at the event were the Honourable Minister of State for Health, Hon. Joseph Ekumankama, and other top Officials of the Ministry who took turns to contribute to the discussion.