Advocacy, prevention key to healthy life, says Adewole
Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Adewole has said that advocacy and preventive measures can help the nation attain universal health coverage.
He reiterated the efforts of the government in making health care accessible and affordable citing that private sector has a great role in the nation’s health system because the general hospitals are not sufficient.
Speaking at the 25th anniversary of Nigeria Heart Foundation (NHF) and 85th birthday of Emeritus Professor Oladipo Akinkugbe, Adewole said some people cannot access healthcare due to financial constrains and lack of needed awareness especially in the area of Non Communicable Diseases (NCDs).
Adewole, who was represented by Director General (DG), Nigerian Institute of Medical Research (NIMR), Prof. Babatunde Salako added: “Government cannot do everything; even in the best countries they are not doing it alone. We need support from the private sector; we need to ensure that health insurance coverage is extended to large majority of people that are yet to have that degree of coverage in Nigeria.”
Adewole described Akinkugbe as someone that has contributed immensely not only to the NHF but to the development of medical practices coupled with his vast experience in curative medicine, coming to conclusion that preventive medicine will do our community more good especially now that access to health is yet to be for all.
The keynote speaker, Sir Eldryd Parry, said there is no homogeneous answer to the country’s health challenges stressing that only original idea can salvage the problems of healthcare across the nation.
Parry noted that NHF has important role to play in ensuring that attitude of exercise is introduced the early in life in other to prevent heart diseases.
Similarly, Chairman of the occasion, Dr. Christopher Kolade said: “When you find somebody who has spent a whole life time working positively for welfare of the people then he deserves to be celebrated and as far as the NHF is concerned, we know how important the working of the heart is to life itself because we know that the foundation is playing a significant role to find a way in improving how we take care of the heart.”
Akinkugbe in his remarks said that rather than copy what others have done, we as a country should come up with our own ideas as how to manage and recognise the illness that is killing the majority of our citizen.
“Non communicable diseases are now emerging as major epidemic in Africa because we are moving away from infectious diseases. Unless we take action now, we will be in trouble in next couple of years, diabetes, cancer sickle cell are NCDs we must focus on because the in totality, they are killing hundreds of thousand even young people annually,” he noted.