The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Millennium Development Goals (OSSAP-MDGs), Dr. Precious Kalamba Gbeneol, has said that the MDGs’ framework has helped to focus international and local attention on improving the health of the most vulnerable in the Nigerian society.
She said this in her remarks during the 16th Annual General Meeting and Scientific Conference of the Society of Family Physicians of Nigeria (SOFPON) held in Keffi, Nassarawa State.
Dr. Gbeneol, who chaired the occasion, tagged “Medicine and the Law” noted that inadequate human resources remains a major challenge to the health care in Nigeria and must be addressed in order to make the required progress.
She urged the participants to consider family medicine in the context of equality of access and human rights which are the two major enablers of development as set in the African Common Position on the Post- 2015 Development agenda.
“In ensuring universality of access to quality health care in Nigeria, issues such as sustainability, passage of the health bill, healthcare financing, GDP- health budget ratio, Public-Private Partnership, universal health insurance among others will help health care in the country “ she said.
She noted that her office in collaboration with the ministry of health and international development agencies is implementing programmes such as the Midwives Service Scheme, Community Health, Extension Workers initiative, the Village Health Workers Scheme, the Saving One Million Lives Initiatives and the United Nations MDGs acceleration Framework (MAF).
She stressed that “efforts are being made across board with other initiative such as the Conditional Grants Scheme as well as the deployment of the grand breaking mobile money technology to drive the new scale up of Conditional Cash Transfers (CCT) for which President Jonathan approved the sum of N10 billion.”
She added that N20 billion has been budgeted to scale up the CCT in 30 states for the health of women and children this year.
Minister of Health Professor, Onyebuchi Chukwu, in his keynote address, commended the SOFPON members for the efforts they are making to sustain family health and urged them to rise above some of the impediments to accelerate the practice of family medicine in the country.
The Medical Director of the Federal Medical Center, Keffi, Dr. Joshua Giyan, assured that SOFPON will continue to sustain the efforts being made to ensure that adequate attention is paid to family health.
Veteran medical practitioner, Dr Phillip Andrew, delivered the lecture on “Reflecting on Family Medicine as a Career” delivered in honour of late physician, Andrew Pearson.