Health Minister Seeks More Access To  Healthcare

The Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire, has suggested the widening of existing healthcare system to ease access to effective and quality services.

Ehanire stated this on Tuesday in Abuja at the Multi stakeholder Partnership Coordination platform on Reproductive Maternal New born Child Adolescent and Elderly Plus Nutrition (RMNCAEH+N).

He explained that widening the healthcare system was necessary to enable people know how to access healthcare services.

“This is not only physical access like being able to get to the hospital; it also involves access to the finances required to pay or have your treatment sponsored.

“Those are the social determinants of healthcare that must be taken into consideration when  assessing the uptake of health services in the country,’’ he said.

The minister also explained that the second factor, called the human, was a question of ignorance of not knowing what is there, the value of what is there and not knowing the value of child spacing.

“Some don’t also know the value and proper use of nutrition, for example, and then hygiene, sanitation, domestic hygiene and textile hygiene.

“All these are things that are actually in the hands of education. The education you get from school is formal and does not end there, it is a continuous process.

“The education you get at school is just the basic, or even if you did not go to school, you can still get education. Who provides the education? It is the media.

“The media disseminates that; it is responsible to the people and for also bringing the feedback from the people.

“The media is actually the teacher and informer, that is why the partnership between the health and the media is extremely important.’’

The minister said that the event had highlighted the value of the relationship, and promised that the ministry would improve on it because the media was an avenue to reach the citizens.

Dr Salma Anas-Kolo, the Director, Family Health Department, said that the terms of reference would provide leadership and strategic direction to the delivery of quality Reproductive Maternal Newborn Child Adolescent Elderly Health care Plus Nutrition services in Nigeria.

She added that it would advocate, mobilise, leverage and harness financial and technical resources at all levels, including effective communication mechanisms for enhanced RMNCAEH+N programming.

According to her, it will support building a resilient health system to sustain delivery of essential RMNCAEH+N services, including during epidemics and/or other public health emergencies.

“It will also ensure effective documentation, data and information management, including mutual accountability around RMNCAEH+N.’’

She emphasised that the development of the operational plan was guided by various principles including country ownership and leadership, integrated and multi-stakeholder partnership.

Other principles included alignment with national priorities, international standards and best practice, justice, equity and fairness and gender-responsiveness.

Anas-Kolo said that the key intervention areas were to provide, facilitate and strengthen effective and responsive leadership and strategic direction on RMNCAEH+N coordination at all levels in line with national health goals and priorities.

According to her, it will support capacity development of the states and FCT to enable them coordinate and lead RMNCAEH+N implementation.

“It will facilitate, establish and strengthen effective partnership and coordination of RMNCAEH+N platforms at National and Sub-national levels in a multisectoral approach, including the private sector,’’ she said.

Meanwhile, the minister launched the Nigeria Reproductive Maternal New Born Child Adolescent and Elderly Health Plus Nutrition Multi stakeholder Partnership Coordination Platform.

The platform will serve as operational plan for 2021.