On the 27th of February 2019, Mohammed Buhari was declared the winner of the 2019 presidential elections. In wake of the new administration, we can begin looking forward to a fulfilment of the campaign promises. Some say manifestos are campaign tactics, but here’s an analysis of what to expect from the healthcare sector in the next five years.
⦁ Rationalize Health Care Delivery through conscious efforts to enhance primary Health Care facilities across Nigeria and reduce costs and unnecessary pressure on secondary/tertiary Health Care facilities.
If this is done, cases of general and teaching hospitals being filled up with patients will be a thing of the past. The Primary Health Care centres will also be maximally utilized by the public
⦁ Prioritize the reduction of infant mortality rate by 2019 to 3%, reduce material mortality by more than 70%, reduce HIV/AIDS infection rate by 50% and other infectious disease by 75%, improve life expectancy by additional 10 years on average through our national healthy living program.
Nigeria currently has a 814 per 100,000 maternal mortality rate. This means that the statistics will be reduced to about 244 per 100,000 births. The 210,000 new HIV infection rate will be reduced to 70,000 and the current 53.05 years average life expectancy of Nigerians will increase to 63.05 years. Interesting!
⦁ Increase the number of physicians from 19 per 1000 population to 50 per 1000; increase national health expenditure per person per annum to about N50,000 (from less than N10,000 currently).
This simply means that instead of one physician having to attend to about 53 patients, a physician would have just 20 patients to attend to, and the amount spent on health, as provided by the government, will be increased to N50,000 per person.
⦁ Increase the quality of all Federal Government owned hospitals to world class standard within five years.
According to this, within five years, we can now expect electronic health records, medical robotics and the likes in our teaching hospitals, “based on world class standards”.
⦁ Provide free ante-natal care for pregnant women, free health care for babies and children up to school going age and for the aged and free treatment for those afflicted with infectious disease such as tuberculosis and HIV/AIDS.
Here, we speak of free healthcare for children from birth to five years, which is the school-going age, and from 65 years upward(the aged). Free treatment will also be made available for individuals with infectious diseases.
⦁ Boost the local manufacture of 70 percent of pharmaceuticals and make drugs for HIV/AIDS available.
Currently, 98% of raw materials used in production of pharmaceutical products in Nigeria, are imported. Could this mean that the rate of import would be reduced to 28%?
In 2016, the UN program on HIV/AIDS declared the unavailability of anti-retroviral drugs, a state of emergency in Nigeria. The Buhari’s new administration is however saying, these drugs will be made available!.
Nigeria healthcare space is indeed set for a great boost when these campaign speeches become a reality.