By Lara Adejoro
The Coordinating Minister of Health and Social Welfare, Prof. Ali Pate, has commended the United States Government and other partners for investing about $900 million in Nigeria’s malaria, HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis programmes.
He made the commendation in Abuja on Monday at the high-level meeting with the U.S Global AIDS Coordinator and Special Representative for Global Health Diplomacy, the U.S President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, Dr. John Nkengasong; the Executive Director, Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, Peter Sands; the U.S Global Malaria Coordinator for the U.S President’s Malaria Initiative, Dr. David Walton, among others.
Pate lauded the US government’s support to Nigeria over the years, and the importance placed on the health and well-being of Nigerians.
“We appreciate the generosity of the American people and American government and other governments that contribute to the global fund because the global fund comprises seven countries, not only the United States government,” Pate said.
He noted that the ministry would support the vision of President Bola Tinubu to ensure the health sector is improved.
Pate said, “To govern the health better, we have to look at the intergovernmental aspects, as well as what we do as a Federal Government. We have to do it with our development partners and others who are going to come after to serve Nigerians, to improve their health and well-being and have good data to tell the story of where we are going.
“To hold ourselves accountable and also hold you accountable, even as the source countries also called institutions accountable. That’s the pillar of governance.”
He added that to strengthen the platform for the delivery of health services, the nation has to retrain and update standards of practice for its frontline health workers.
Meanwhile, Walton commended Nigeria on the progress that has been made in the healthcare sector, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Walton stated. “Nigeria is the country that receives more global fund investments than any other country in the world, so your success is our success. We are completely united with you in the objective of saving lives, improving the health systems, and improving health and well-being for people all across this country.
“This visit is a very deliberate effort to ensure we are coordinated in supporting you and particularly at this really important moment where we have a new government, new president, new leadership in the Ministry of Health. We want to be aligned in the way we put our resources and capabilities behind the government. We are delighted to engage in these discussions, but we should see this as just a first step of ongoing dialogue.”
“However, it is also about action because ultimately it’s the actions that count and that is what will save people’s lives and improve people’s health,” he added.