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African healthcare challenges require transnational collaboration: Tinubu

Mr Tinubu said Africa’s effective collaboration with the rest of the world to tackle existential health challenges is a moral imperative.

• February 18, 2024
President Bola Tinubu (Credit: Presidency)
President Bola Tinubu (Credit: Presidency)

President Bola Tinubu says transnational collaboration is essential for addressing the complex challenges in healthcare on the continent.

He said this at the Ministerial Executive Leadership Programme on the margins of the 37th Ordinary Session of the Assembly of Heads of State and Government of the African Union in Addis Ababa on Saturday.

The president said Africa must forge partnerships that transcend borders and sectors, leveraging collective expertise, knowledge, resources, and the private sector to address the challenges.

Mr Tinubu said Africa’s effective collaboration with the rest of the world to tackle existential health challenges is not merely a strategic choice but a moral imperative.

The president, appointed as the AU Champion for Human Resources for Health and Community Health Delivery Partnership, said the continent’s challenges are too complex and multifaceted for any one entity to tackle alone.

He listed some of the health challenges as malaria, HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, cancer, diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, cholera, limited access to healthcare services, and acute shortage of trained manpower.

“There remains the critical need to address maternal and child health, as high maternal and child mortality rates continue to claim precious lives,” he added.

He said addressing the challenges would involve robust investments in healthcare infrastructure, training, re-training, skilled manpower retention, improving access to essential medicines, and promoting preventive healthcare measures.

Mr Tinubu said that challenges would be successfully addressed through a whole-of-government approach, recognising that health outcomes are intrinsically linked to various socio-economic factors.

He emphasised that investments must be made in training and creating conducive environments for healthcare professionals to thrive.

Mr Tinubu said community health delivery must be the cornerstone of Africa’s efforts, fostering partnerships with local stakeholders and empowering individuals to take charge of their health.

He stressed that the true measure of the continent’s success lies in its ability to reach the most vulnerable members of its communities.

“In our quest for universal health coverage, equity must be our central guiding principle. Health disparities, rooted in socio-economic inequality, gender discrimination, geographic isolation, and other systemic injustices, demand political will and targeted interventions to address them,” Mr Tinubu stated.

He also emphasised that leaders must hear the voices of marginalised communities. 

“In Nigeria, we are making significant efforts to enhance healthcare accessibility, affordability, and quality for all citizens, irrespective of socio-economic standing.

“This initiative is driven by a multifaceted approach focusing on strengthening leadership and governance within the health sector, optimising quality service delivery for efficiency and effectiveness. The Nigeria Health Sector Renewal Investment Initiative (NHSRII), which I unveiled last December, stands as a pioneering endeavour, deployed through a Sector-Wide Approach, to improve health outcomes at scale.

“Under my leadership, the federal government has already signed a compact with state governments and development partners in this multi-stakeholder effort to improve health in Nigeria,” he said.

Mr Tinubu urged African leaders to commit to concrete actions and policies to drive positive change in healthcare delivery within their respective countries and regions.


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