24 June 2019

Nigeria: D-8 Countries Commit to Implementation of Health, Social Protection Prog

Deputy Ministers of Health and experts from Nigeria and other member states of the D-8 Organization for Economic Cooperation (D-8) have resolved to strengthen their commitment towards the implementation of the organisation's Health and Social Protection Programme (HSP ).

This was part of their resolutions in a communiqué issued after the inaugural consultative meeting of the programme organised by the D-8 Secretariat and the federal government in Abuja.

The D-8 Organisation for Economic Cooperation (D-8), is an organisation for development co-operation among eight developing countries in the Muslim world. They are: Bangladesh, Egypt, Nigeria, Indonesia, Iran, Malaysia, Pakistan, and Turkey. It was established in 1997 and aimed at sustainable economic development, and uplifting the standards of living of member states.

The experts also resolved to amplify the pillars of the Health and Social Protection Programme at regional and country level, ensure prosperity through innovations in sustainable financing, as well as mobilize support and resources for full operationalization of the programme's secretariat.

Special Adviser and Head of the D-8 Health and Social Protection Programme, Dr Ado Muhammad said member states established the programme in November 2018 following agreement that they could make much more progress through intervention in the health sector, after spending about 22 years of its existence intervening in the areas of trade, aviation, agriculture, energy, ICT and transportation.

"They approved the use of health as a stimulant for economic prosperity, having realized the linkage between economic prosperity and human capital development," he said.

Dr Muhammad who was also the former Executive Director/CEO, National Primary Health care Development Agency said the programme targets helping member states who are struggling with attaining Universal Health Coverage (UHC), breaking long term dependence on donors for funding health programmes to mobilization of resources within member countries to implement their health progs, and social protection.

He said: "This will ensure that countries have an efficient expenditure, and change the narrative of health being an expenditure to health being an investment, and also unlock the huge potentials of the private sector for health.

"We believe that through this approach by 2030 when the countries would have attained SDGs, we should be able to have about 2.7 trillion dollars in terms of return on investments for member countries. We should also be able to raise life expectancy of member countries by four years," he said.

He said the secretariat of the D8 Health and Social Protection programme will be hosted by Nigeria, and will help the country strengthen its drive towards achieving Universal Health Coverage, essential services such as immunization, nutrition, Non Communicable Diseases (NCDs), and the country's health indices.

Secretary General of D-8 Organization for Economic Cooperation, Ambassador Dato' Ku Jaafar Ku Shaari who was represented by Nasir Aminu Director Administration, Legal and Internal Issues of the D-8 Secretariat, Instabul, Turkey said the meeting on the D-8 Health and Social Protection programme was held to get all member countries to work on the programme inorder to scale up health services and health outcomes, and to use it as a platform to attain the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

While saying that it was a move to harmonise policies and take concrete actions to address the health challenges bedeviling member states, he called on members states to rededicate themselves to the holistic implementation of all agreements at the meeting.

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