The Guardian
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Save the Children initiative canvasses improved universal healthcare coverage



To commemorate the Universal Health Coverage (UHC) Day, Save the Children International joins the global community to advocate on the need to improve healthcare and rally point for the growing movement for health for all.

UHC is a United Nations (UN) endorsement, which entails that everyone can access quality health services without financial hardship. There is a growing global consensus that UHC is a smart investment and an achievable goal everywhere.

Advocacy officer of Save the Children, Lawrence Adetokunbo, in her remarks said that the programme has been at the cutting-edge of the Every Woman Every Child (EWEC) global campaign. “It has also been pushing for increased national commitment to, and investment in, UHC, by building universal, reproductive, maternal, newborn, child and adolescent health services (RMNCAH) at the primary health care level as the first priority and prioritizing the poorest and most marginalized groups,” he said.

Adetokunbo said: “Driven by passion to see that no child dies from preventable causes, Save the Children has continued to collaborate with the Governments of Lagos, Gombe and Kaduna states on a number of interventions, including the Health Workers Capacity Building (HCB) project. HCB is focused on building the capacity of health workers through several bouquets of trainings including Essential Newborn Care, Injections and Vaccines Management Training, Integrated Management of Childhood Illnesses (IMCI), amongst others. HCB is also committed to ensuring an enabling policy environment for the delivery of improved Maternal Newborn and Child Health (MNCH) services in Lagos.”

The Area Operations Manager for Save the Children Nigeria in Lagos state, Mr. Roy Chikwem, said: “We need to do more to improve health care delivery for mothers and children in the country as the figures reflect high numbers of deaths among under-fives.”

Chikwem stated that Save the Children is calling for increased national commitment and investment towards UHC, by building Reproductive, maternal, newborn, child and adolescent healthcare (RMNCAH) services at primary health care level as a first priority and prioritising access for the poorest and most marginalised and excluded groups.

“Our call to governments, donors, development partners and all stakeholders is to guarantee an essential package of RMNCAH services as the first priority for UHC; free at the point of use and accessible to all; establish time-bound equity targets for accelerated progress among the poorest and most marginalised and excluded people, so no one is left behind; increase public spending on healthcare to at least recommended minimum levels; improve quality and promote respectful and dignified care in health facilities; and fully implement the National Health Act,” he said.

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