COVID-19 SUMMIT

COVID-19 Summit: Stakeholders Advise Federal Government to Lobby for Debt Relief

Rising from the 2021 National COVID-19 summit which held on December 6th-7th, stakeholders in Nigeria’s health sector have appealed to the Federal Government to consider building a structure for the management of national bio-security.

The Summit noted that the call became necessary in view of the global experiences from the COVID-19 Pandemic which have negatively impacted various sectors of the society.

The call was among other resolutions contained in the Communique issued at the end of the 2021 National COVID-19 Summit signed by Boss Mustapha, Secretary to the Government of the Federation and Chairman, Presidential Steering Committee (Psc) on COVID-19; Dr. Ibrahim Yahaya Oloriegbe, Chairman Senate Committee on Health (for the National Assembly); Dr. Aminu Magashi, Coordinator Africa Health Budget (for Coalition of CSOs); Pharm Frank Mounemeh, Pharmaceutical Manufacturers Group of Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (for the Private Sector); Dr. Betta Edu, Commissioner of Health Cross River State (for Council of Commissioners of Health in Nigeria).

In line with global practice, the Summit also advocated for sustenance of the Presidential Steering Committee, PSC, on COVID-19 to continue with the coordination of COVID-19.

In view of the huge blow on developing economies by pandemic, Federal Government was further advised to strategically lead other countries of similar fate to push for debt relief, as debts could be channelled by developing economies towards the provision of access to Universal Health Coverage for their citizens.

“In line with current global practice and recognising the persisting threat of COVID-19, the coordination structure under the Presidential Steering Committee should be sustained.

“In view of the global experiences from the COVID-19 Pandemic, government should consider building a structure for the management of national bio-security. Considering the impact of COVID-19 on developing economies, which has worsened their debt situation, Nigeria should galvanise other nations to call for debt relief so that resources could be channelled towards building the national bio-security and improve access to Universal Health Coverage (UHC).”

Furthermore, government was advised to sustain the current engagement with the organised private sector as part of strategies for effective harnessing of resources for health sector financing in Nigeria.

There was also the call for Nigeria to collaborate with other countries in the continent to end COVID-19 and build back stronger public health systems; as well as vigorously pursue the “One Health” Strategy and requirements under the International Health Regulation.

And while calling for effective collaboration between the national and sub-national levels of COVID-19 coordination in Nigeria for proper progress assessment, the Summit pointed out the need for strengthening of human resources in the health sector, as well as, strengthen the collaboration between the national and sub-national entities for improved partnership on Primary health care delivery and vaccination uptake.

“The current level of engagement with the organised private sector in strengthening the health sector should be encouraged and sustained.

The “One Health” Strategy and the requirements under the International Health Regulation should be pursued vigorously.

“Nigeria should galvanise the support of African countries in the collaborative process to end COVID-19 pandemic on the continent and build back stronger public health systems. For impact measurement and effective evaluation of the national response, the collaboration between national and sub-national entities should be strengthened.

“The capacity and numbers of human resources for health should be improved and strengthened. The Summit urged that for improved partnership on Primary health care delivery and vaccination uptake, government should strengthen the collaboration between the national and sub-national entities.”

The Summit agreed that going forward, the resolutions should be measurable with timelines to track and report on progress on implementation.

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