Happy Recession, Nigeria!

Gimba Kakanda's Blog


We do not know the exact starting date of this historic festival, nor are we in the know of its end date. I mean this festival of inflation and hunger, unemployment and job cuts, liquidation and crime, mental health crisis and despair. There’s something savagely beautiful about celebrating our misery, about refusing to see it as a danger, preferring to call it a mere “word”, for example, since it does not threaten the existence of those in the political house – elected politicians and their allies in and out of the corridor of power.

Some think the decision to celebrate our misery was taken on our behalf by our foreign-sounding Minister of Finance, Ms. Kemi Adeosun. It’s a fact that she called the decline in our Gross Domestic Product by -2.06 %, a recession, a mere word. And it’s also a fact that she has not told us why a…

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Nigeria develops new National Health Policy to accommodate emerging trends

Nigeria develops new National Health Policy to accommodate emerging trends

(L-R) Dr Shamaki, Professor Lambo and Dr Vaz at the stakeholders meeting in Abuja(
L-R) Dr Shamaki, Professor Lambo and Dr Vaz at the stakeholders meeting in Abuja

Finalization of the National Health Policy revised for the attainment of Universal Health Coverage (UCH) and other health-related Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) has ended in Abuja.

Chairing a stakeholders meeting on the National Health Policy in Abuja on 18 June, 2016, the Minister of Health, represented by the Permanent Secretary in the Federal Ministry of Health (FMOH), Dr Amina SHamaki stated that prior to the development of the current National Health Policy document, Nigeria had developed and implemented two others in 1988 and 2004. Both were developed at critical stages in the evolution of the Nigeria Health System and had far reaching impact on improving the performance of the system over the course of their lifetime.

However, the Minister noted that over the last two (2) and a half decades, Nigeria has recorded some progress in the performance of its health system. This includes improvements in key indices for ‘major’ communicable diseases (HIV/AIDS, TB and Malaria), as well as maternal and child health. Recently, Nigeria has been able to among others, interrupt the transmission of wild poliovirus, eradicate the Guinea-worm disease and successfully contain the spread of the deadly Ebola virus disease.

“The key lesson from these successes is the need for the country to build a resilient health system that assures access to basic health care services in a sustainable manner” the Minister noted. Additionally, he assured  of a good foundation and that   Nigeria is in the right direction as the country  earnestly seeks to achieve the visionary goal of UHC.

In his submission, the WHO Country Representative (WR) Dr Rui Gama Vaz said that  he  is inspired by  Nigeria’s commitment towards achievement of  UHC through Primary Healthcare (PHC) but stated  that the citizenry deserves to receive quality and equitable health services without financial and other barriers.

According to Dr Vaz, “this undertaking requires institution of core health system elements that include comprehensive  and coherent health sector policies, established and sustained integrated ward/local health services with active community engagement, strengthened mechanisms which remove geographic, social and financial barriers that impede access to care and improved  information for decision making, at the national, sub-regional, and regional levels”. He added that detailed plans and investments to expand and retain human resources for health across the states, with appropriate skills mix and competences are imperative to  providing  quality health services.

The WR further observed that the attainment of UHC, requires investment in the health sector by governments and health partners which have not been optimal across the region.

He noted that only eight (8) countries have attained the Abuja Declaration target of allocating 15% of national budgets to the health sector and in 77% of Member States, out-of-pocket payments by patients remain higher than 20% of total health expenditure – a level which indicates the existence of financial barriers to accessing services. With approximately 70% out of pocket expenditures in Nigeria, UHC through PHC that includes public sector funding, initiates the much needed financial protection especially for the poor.

The technical working group session  was chaired by Professor Eyitayo Lambo with active participation of  officials of the Federal Ministry of Health, all Commissioners for Health and development partners.


For more information, please contact:

Technical contact:

Dr Teniin Gakuruh; Tel: +234 803 979 5149; Email:  gakuruht@who.int

Media contact:

Ms  Charity Warigon; Tel: +234 810 221 0093; Email:  warigonc@who.int

Petition for Second Brexit Referendum Draws 2 Million Signatures — TIME

More than two million people have signed an online petition for a second referendum on a British exit from the European Union. The online petition has more signatures than any other on the House of Commons website. Since it passed 100,000 names, Parliament will consider it for debate, the BBC reports. The online petition site,…

via Petition for Second Brexit Referendum Draws 2 Million Signatures — TIME