NASS committed to achieving Universal Health Coverage - Oloriegbe

Dr Ibrahim Oloriegbe, the Chairman, Senate Committee on Health, says National Assembly (NASS) is committed to achieving Universal Health Coverage (UCH) by supporting a Legal Framework on State Health Insurance Scheme.

Dr Ibrahim Oloriegbe, the Chairman, Senate Committee on Health, says National Assembly

Oloriegbe made this known at the launch of “Nigeria 2020: The Year of the Nurse and Midwife” on Wednesday at Gwagwalada, FCT, organised by Nigerian Nurses Charitable Association- UK (NNCAUK).

Represented by Mr Tajudeen Arowolo, his Senior Legislative Aide, Oloriegbe said that NASS had passed the National Health Insurance Commission Bill, adding that “we are working to put the country on the path of achieving UHC, which means we do not only need to spend more on health, but to spend better on it.

“Lawmakers have huge task toward ensuring that existing policy on health, such as the Basic Health Care Provision Fund (BHCPF) is implemented in such a way that would be of benefit to the poor.

“There had been subsequent appropriation for BHCPF in addition to appropriation for Equity Fund in many states,’’ he said.

In his remarks, Dr Olorunimbe Mamora, Minister for State for Health, said the declaration of 2020 by World Health Organisation (WHO) as Year of Nurses and Midwives was timely.

Mamora, who was represented by Dr Bola Olowu, the Director of Diaspora Department, Federal Ministry of Health, said that the declaration was significant when considered in the context of strengthening nursing and midwifery for efficient UHC.

“To live up to this expectation, members of this noble profession need to carry out detailed self-assessment and chart a more progressive path for the profession,’’ he said.

In her address, Mrs Abike Dabiri-Erewa, the Chairman/Chief Executive Officer, Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NiDCOM), said Nigerian medical practitioners were the best in the world.

She added that “Nigerians are hardworking, and the best in the world: a country of talented people whether we are here or in Diaspora.”

According to her, medical practitioners both at home and abroad collaborate to contribute their quota to support the efforts of Federal Government.

In his remarks, Mr Faruk Abubakar, the Secretary General/ Registrar, Midwifery Council of Nigeria, said the council was working toward building the capacity of nurses and midwives in the country.

Abubakar said one of the challenges in the profession was the concentration of nurses in cities, while rural areas were abandoned.

He added that the council was working on a policy to recruit indigenes from rural areas and be deployed there to ensure balance in the number of nurses and midwives in the country.

Ms Wendy Olayiwola-Odutola, the President of NNCAUK, said the association would help in building capacity of some selected nurses in the country, starting from the FCT.

Olayiwola said that some members of the association were in Nigeria to exchange knowledge and to transfer skills to their counterpart.

She noted that it was also an opportunity to celebrate the achievements and successes of the professionals and also proffer solutions to their challenges.

The theme of the ceremony is “Nurses and Midwives: Time for Turnaround.”

The event was organised by NNCAUK in collaboration with Federal Ministry of Health, NiDCOM and University of Abuja Teaching Hospital.

No fewer than 200 nurses and midwifery leaders attended the ceremony.

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