Nigeria’s Vice President Osinbajo Leads Health Sector Reform

On Monday, Nigeria’s President, Muhammadu Buhari appointed his Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo to lead the committee set up on reform of the health sector.

The announcement of Osinbajo as Chairman of the committee was contained in a statement by the Nigerian Presidency, with other members of the committee also announced. 

The new Director General of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, Dr. Ifedayo Morayo Adetifa is also a member of the committee. The committee also has the governor of Delta state, Southern Nigeria, the Chairman of Nigeria’s Senate Committee on Health, and the Minister of Health on the committee. 

The report on the health sector was conducted and developed by a consultant, Vesta Healthcare Partners and Nigeria’s Ministry of Health. 

According to the Nigerian government, the committee is expected to undertake a review of all healthcare reforms adopted in the past two decades and lessons learnt and factor them into the development of the new Health Sector Reform Programme.

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Members of the committee were drawn from the private and public sector health care sectors.

Members of the committee are; Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa, Governor of Delta State ; Dr. Osagie Ehanire, Minister of Health; Mr. Alex Okoh Director General BPE; Prof Ibrahim Abubakar, a Professor in Infectious Disease Epidemiology at University College London and Director of the UCL Institute for Global Health; Mr Babatunde Irukera, Director General, Federal Competition and Consumer  Protection Council; Senator( Dr)  Ibrahim Yahaya Oloriegbe;  Dr. Adedamola Dada;  Dr. Sani Aliyu;  Dr. Mairo Mandara; Dr. Haliru Yahaya, Emir of Shonga;  Professor Uche Amazigbo ; Director Hospital Services, Federal Ministry of Health; Dr Faisal Shuaib; Prof Nasiru Sambo; Dr Ifedayo Morayo Adetifa; Dr Gambo Aliyu;

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Others in the committee are: Dr Betta Edu ( Chairman Nigeria Health Commissioners Forum representing National Council on Health); President Nigeria Medial Association;  President Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria; President National Association of Nigeria Nurses & Midwives;  President Association of Medical Laboratory Scientists of Nigeria ; Mrs Temi Marcella Awogboro ; Dr. Muhammad Sadiq;  Dr. Azubike Tagbo and  World Health Organization, Nigeria.

The sectoral reform will also see Vesta Healthcare Partners and Bill & Melinda Gates Foundationto serve as resource persons and are to have observer roles in the committee.

Nigeria’s health sector is currently facing a mass exodus of health professionals including medical doctors, nurses and pharmacists. Out-of-pocket medicine is highly practiced in the country, and the only 5% of Nigerians are on the national health insurance scheme. Current statistics also reveal that there’s an average of 1 medical doctor to more than 5,000 patients. 

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The country’s Primary Healthcare is also in dire straits with just 20% of more than 30,000 Centres currently in good shape and serving the people. 

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