Gombe State Governor, Muhammadu Inuwa Yahaya, earlier today delivered a lecture at the Royal Institute of International Affairs popurlarly known as Chatham House in London, United Kingdom.
The Governor who was in London alongside 2 other Nigerian Governors; Babajide Sanwo-Olu ( Lagos) and Abdullahi Sule ( Nasarawa), participated at a high level event tagged: Accelerating Universal Health Coverage in Nigeria on the invitation of Public Health Africa Policy Forum in collaboration with Centre for Universal Health, Chatham House.
Mr. Inuwa was specially invited and offered the platform to showcase his administration’s achievements at the global stage in recognition of the genuine massive reforms taking place in Gombe under his leadership.
The Governor who spoke on the topic ‘Political Leadership and The Universal Health Coverage Quest: The Impact on People’, noted that reforms in the health sector and beyond are critical political decisions that leaders must delibrately focus on and invest in, in order to strengthen the social contract between them and the people.
While sharing his perspectives on Gombe state’s journey towards the attainment of Universal Health Coverage, Governor Inuwa said that over the last 3 years, his administration has taken measures to revamp the health system for better service delivery.
This, according to him, includes the complete upgrade of the specialist hospital Gombe, revitalization of primarry health care centres (PHCC) across all the 114 wards of the state, the ongoing upgrade of general hospitals, as well as the establishment of Gombe State Contributory Healthcare Management Agency (GoHealth) to ensure financial risk protection for the people of the state.
Recall that Governor Inuwa, had while campaigning, promised to among others proactively implement strategies to achieve Universal Health Coverage in the state using Primary Health Care as the corner stone to increase efficient, qualitative and affordable healthcare facilities and services as well as ensure availability of essential drugs, vaccines and immunisation across the 11 Local Government Areas of the state.
Apparently worried by the decay and poorly functional health system owing to years of neglect of this very important sector by past administrations, the Muhammadu Inuwa Yahaya-led government upon assuming office declared a state of emergency in the sector and set up a comprehensive agenda for the holistic overhaul of the system starting with the building of additional healthcare institutions, provision of medical facilities, equipment, training and retraining of healthcare personnel for better service delivery.
To ensure the effective coordination of health personnel, facilities and service delivery, the government, for the first time in the history of the state, established the Hospital Services Management Board. Indeed, over the past three years, the present administration in Gombe State has recorded tremendous achievements across all areas of the health ecosystem.
Other speakers at the event include the Director General of National Health Insurance Authority, Prof Nasiru M Sambo who spoke about the recent signing of the National Health Insurance Authority Law which offers the potential for rapidly expanding health insurance coverage in the country.
Highlight of the event at Chatham House is the committment by the leaders to make a case for increasing public funding to the health system with a view to expanding coverage to the poor and vulnerable persons in the communities.
Mr. Inuwa was accompanied by the Commissioner of Health, Dr. Habu Dahiru.