National Institute orders political parties to inculcate health issues in election campaigns

The Director General of the National Institute of Policy and Strategic Studies (NIPSS) Kuru, Plateau State professor Ayo Omotayo has instructed political parties in Nigeria to put health issues at the forefront of their upcoming election campaigns.

Professor Omotayo spoke yesterday at a policy dialogue on strengthening health management at the local government level in Nigeria, organized by the institute in conjunction with the Development Research and Projects Center (DRPC).

Prof Omotayo said it is equally imperative that the parties that will eventually form governments at the national and state levels make health a priority in their programming.

He complained that the health sector in the country is facing serious crises caused by weak primary health care, poor health infrastructure, insufficient staff, poor handling of health emergencies and lack of health planning at the local government level. , including diverting resources. and the lack of autonomy for local governments to operate.

“The health sector in our precious country is facing serious crises caused by a weak primary health care delivery, poor health infrastructure, insufficient staffing, poor handling of health emergencies such as COVID-19, the near absence of health planning in the local government level, diversion of resources and lack of autonomy for local governments to operate.

“These factors have made achieving universal health coverage through primary health care difficult. If the situation is not reversed, it will be absolutely difficult to achieve Goal 3, which aims to ensure a healthy life and promote the well-being of all citizens of all ages.

“It is therefore that the National Institute and the dRPC found it necessary to create this platform for in-depth reflections on health management at the sub-national level in our country.

“At the end of this dialogue, we expect to collect and package the recommendations in the form of policy papers and they will be shared with the MDAS responsible for the implementation of health programs in the country for inclusion. We hope that political parties will make health issues prominent in their upcoming election campaigns. We also hope that the political parties that will form governments at the national and state levels will make health a priority in their programming,” he said.

He said the Institute is a policy think tank committed to research and reflections on national and international issues that directly affect the lives of the country’s citizens.

In his presentation, Dr Muhammad Saddiq, an expert on health systems and management, the School of Health and the Related Research University of Sheffield UK, said that the root cause of the failure of primary health care and entire health systems in low- and middle-income countries , including Nigeria is the weakness or even absence of governance.

He said there must be a transparent system that assesses what is within realistic limits of the health resources available at the local, state and federal levels, and that building successful health systems must start with a new mindset and clear fundamental decisions that government should take.

In his comments, the Director of Projects DRPC, Dr. Stanley Ukpai, that the dialogue will explore and share best practices for strengthening health management at the local government level as part of the ongoing effort to reform the health sector for maximum impact in Nigeria.

According to him, the policy dialogue brought together experts, academics and policy makers from national and sub-national levels to make recommendations to address the challenges and drivers of health governance for implementation at the three layers of government.

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2023: National Institute orders political parties to imprint health issues into election campaigns.

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