The Speaker of the Lagos State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Mudashiru Obasa, has mentioned poor funding of the health sector in Nigeria as a hindrance to the country’s attainment of the Universal Health Coverage (UHC) target of the World Health Organisation (WHO).
Dr. Obasa spoke on Thursday at a 2-day health programme organised by the House in conjunction with the Legislative Advocacy Initiative For Sustainable Development (LISDEL) aimed at enhancing the capacities of legislators and key stakeholders in the health sector of Lagos state as part of moves to help Nigeria meet the universal health coverage.
Represented by the Deputy Speaker, Hon. Wasiu Eshilokun-Sanni, Obasa said Nigeria is embattled with various challenges in the health sector, but that poor funding has become a major issue. “To my mind, the biggest challenge facing the health sector in Nigeria is lack of adequate financing. This is because none of the other problems is too obscure to identify or complicated to solve.
“To solve the problems of lack of adequate financing and thereby invest in the health sector and achieve the Universal Health Coverage in Nigeria, you, the stakeholders have come up with laudable innovative ideas like the Community-based Health
“This initiative is largely addressing the issue of ‘out-of-pocket payments’ and would alleviate the struggles of our people in the rural areas. “On this note, I salute the determination of the stakeholders in this sector for your efforts day and night to tackle these rather evasive but tormenting problems,” the Speaker’s representative said.
In his keynote address, the chairman of the committee on health of the Lagos State House of Assembly, Hon. Akeem Olusola Sokunle, noted that the programme would help address the basics of ensuring universal health coverage policies and objectives.
He commended LISDEL for helping legislators, clerks of various Houses of Assembly and others with capacity building in relation to health financing. “It is targeted at strengthening the state’s health sector and deepening legislators’ understanding of health financing, universal health coverage and public health coverage objectives,” Sokunle said about the programme.
He promised more partnerships with stakeholders to make the health sector of Lagos better. Speaking concerning the programme, the chairman of the House Committee on Information, Hon. David Setonji, noted that even though Lagos still had a lot to grapple with, the state is doing well and taking the right steps to meet the WHO targets.