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‘Unified Healthcare System, Critical To SDGs Attainment By 2030’

Healthcare
Posted: Jul 17, 2016 at 5:14 pm   /   by   /   comments (0)

Chioma Umeha

Lagos-Experts in maternal and child health have called for a unified healthcare system in Nigeria, saying that this is critical to the country’s attainment of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030.
The health experts made the call in Lagos during a one- day symposium on “Post MDGs: Maternal and Child Health in Nigeria” which held at the Nigerian Institute of Medical Research (NIMR) on Tuesday.
According to the experts, a healthcare unitary system in the nation’s health sector would enable medical experts to strategise on government policies and ensure that every Nigerian benefit from such policy.
In his submission, the guest lecturer, a professor of Obstetrics and Gynaecologist, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria,  Prof. Oladapo Shittu, said adoption of a unified health system would enable the country achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) on health.
Oladapo who lamented Nigeria’s score card on the just -concluded Millennium Development Goals, MDGs, said:“Most countries around the world have single health system, which is centrally operated at their capital cities.
“Our healthcare system in Nigeria is a shared responsibility between the federal, state and local government, which hinders the sole influence of the federal health policies.
According to him, “When the Federal Government makes a decision; it is not assured how it will be implemented at the state level, which leads to fragmentation.  This is why there should be a unitary system that can help us strategise on policies released to ensure that every Nigerian benefit from it.’’
In his views, the Director General of NIMR, Prof Innocent Ujah said unified system would standardise what happens in the country’s health system as well as reduce cost in terms of resources needed for infrastructure and equipment.
“We should have a standardisation that is what happens everywhere. We need to ensure that Federal government makes policy and the states will implement. When these policies are implemented with the same platform and standards, we will be able to compare notes. States that are not doing well will learn from others. That is a peer review mechanism.    We need to harness our resources and that will decrease the cost”
On his part, the Chief medical Director of the Lagos University Teaching Hospital, LUTH, Prof Chris Bode said there is need to improve the health indices of the country, particularly, maternal health indices.
“We have done so much but we are not there yet. There are still much to be done; we need to focus on the SDGs. We are still losing too many women at child birth every day. We are still losing too many babies who should survive.”