The National Primary Healthcare Development Agency (NPHDA) has tasked medical women on improved healthcare services to achieve Universal Healthcare Coverage (UHC) in the country.
Dr Ogechi Okalohnu, Assistant Director, Community Health Services, National Primary Healthcare Development Agency, made the call during the Nigerian Woman and Healthcare Symposium organised by the Medical Women’s Association of Nigeria.
Okalohnu said the agency had rolled out series of programmes to improve the healthcare of women and children in the country, adding that there was need for more collaborative partnerships to ensure adequate healthcare coverage.
“Medical women need to always visit Primary Health facilities in villages and interact with healthcare workers and seek ways of improving nutrition and primary healthcare delivery, especially for women and children at the grassroots.
“We need to work together to improve the poor health indices in the rural communities without proper funding of the primary healthcare in the country, Nigeria cannot achieve UHC,” she said.
Dr Joyce Barber, the National President, Medical Women Association of Nigeria, said the conference became pertinent following the low percentage of universal health coverage in the country.
She said that there was need for more female health care providers across the country, saying that was the only way to carry everyone along in healthcare services.
“We are here today to discuss what affects families, women and children; the need to have female healthcare providers is imperative.
“Women are here from across the states to learn from each other to forge a way forward and advocate for adequate provision and access to health care facilities,’’ Barber said.
The Managing Director, Healthcare Business Support System Limited, Dr Ogeoma Ukeka said that all UN member states such as Nigeria agreed to achieve Universal Health Coverage by 2030 as part of the Sustainable Development Goals.
“Each country is unique and each country may focus on different areas or develop their own ways of measuring progress towards UHC.
“But there is also value in a global approach that uses standardised measures that are internationally recognised so that they are comparable across borders and over time.
“The Nigerian woman must come to the front seat if Nigeria is to UHC,’’ he said.
The Chairman, Governing Board, Bayelsa Health Insurance Scheme, Prof. Onyaye Kunle-Olowu said the key challenges for most countries was the failure to provide and sustain financial access to quality services by communities, especially the poor.
According to her, UHC means that all individuals and communities should receive health services they need without suffering financial hardship.
Kunle-Olowu said that the services include the full spectrum of essential quality health services from health promotion to prevention, treatment, rehabilitation and palliative care.