World Health Day: CCSI calls for universal health coverage for Nigerians

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Centre for Communication and Social Impact (CCSI), formerly Centre for Communication Programs Nigeria (CCPN) on April 7th joined the World Health Organisation (WHO) and other stakeholders in the Health sector to commemorate the World Health Day.

Over 70 years, the WHO has spearheaded efforts to rid the world of killer diseases like smallpox and to fight against deadly habits like tobacco use. However, the WHO has dedicated this year’s celebration to one of its founding principles: “The enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of health is one of the fundamental rights of every human being without distinction of race, religion, political belief, economic or social condition.”

The Executive Director, CCSI, Mrs Babafunke Fagbemi noted that this year’s theme is important especially for Nigeria in providing universal health coverage for all Nigerians. She noted that by revamping its primary health care, the vision of WHO, government and partners who remain committed to achieving Universal Health Coverage will become a reality.

Health CoverageFor over 10 years, CCSI has designed, implemented and evaluated strategic health communication programs for consumers and providers across the federation. It has also served as a technical resource for strategic health communication and information building individual and institutional capacity to implement communication activities in health.

Fagbemi said the theme “Working for better health for everyone, everywhere” should be a call to action for Nigeria because of its impact on human capital development. “Take the case of malnutrition, data says one in three children is chronically malnourished making them to be at risk. If we consider the human and economic cost of this then we need to start asking the question, can Nigeria afford to pay this cost?

“Paying attention to the stunting crisis in Nigeria according to the World Bank would add almost $30 billion to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of Nigeria. Therefore, it is important that we take this seriously and everything boils down to improving our primary health care,” she said.

She, however, commended stakeholders including the Federal Ministry of Health and civil society working on improving the health indices in the country adding that CCSI would continue to play a leading role in ensuring an efficient health system in the country.

In his address, the Director-General of the WHO, Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, noted that good health is the most precious thing anyone can have. “Good health is the most precious thing anyone can have.  When people are healthy, they can learn, work, and support themselves and their families. When they are sick, nothing else matters. Families and communities fall behind. That’s why WHO is so committed to ensuring good health for all.”