The Coordinating Minister of Health and Social Welfare, Professor Muhammad Ali Pate, has commended health workers in Nigeria for their dedication to the growth of the Nigerian health sector. The minister encouraged their resilience even in the midst of the various challenges, including security concerns in the country.
While speaking on Sunrise Daily, a Channels Television’s programme on Monday, the minister identified areas that needed improvements within the country’s health sector. He said the problems in the sector would be addressed through the recently announced four-point agenda.
He further emphasised the importance of commending the efforts and sacrifices of workers within the health sector. He spoke about their accomplishments and their ability to carry them out, despite facing numerous challenges and vices.
Pate cited the examples of health workers who had been kidnapped in rural areas while doing their assignments.
“Take insecurity for instance. There are many health workers who have been kidnapped in the course of doing their work in rural areas in different parts of the country, yet health workers have continued to work hard to deliver services.”
Pate noted that the ministry was committed to improve the health sector along four paths of actions.
“Now, are they perfect? No. Is there a scope for significant improvement? Yes. And that’s why we have articulated these four buckets of things that we will do,” he said.
Together with the Minister of State for Health, Dr Tunji Alausa, Pate affirmed that he was committed to President Bola Tinubu’s vision to pursue the four-point agenda to improve the overall state of health in Nigeria. He noted that one of the items bordered on improving the governance of the health sector.
He encouraged all parties involved to actively engage in addressing healthcare matters for the well-being of all Nigerians. Additionally, he appealed to state and local governments to collaborate with the Federal Government in enhancing the healthcare sector.
“It’s not just the Federal Government that has the responsibility for the health of all Nigerians; all state governors and all local government authorities have to play their part; invest, ensure the services are delivered and the quality of service is good.”
He further invited stakeholders in private sectors and civil societies to work towards improving the health of all Nigerians, stating that improving the health sector is a collective effort that includes everyone.
“It should include everyone, not only the public sector but also the private sector in the conversation, the civil actors to really speak and have a consensus in the country that we want to improve the health of Nigerians,” Pate said.
Pate’s remarks come nearly two months after a medical doctor, Dr Asema Msuega, was abducted in the Ukum Local Government Area of Benue State while going on a malaria programme supervision at a primary health centre. The doctor was later freed after spending 33 days in captivity.
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In the same month, a lead consultant of neurology with the University of Calabar Teaching Hospital, Dr Ekanem Ephraim, was also whisked away from her residence by armed men who pretended to be patients.