By Mathew Dadiya
Vice President Kaship Shettima, Tuesday said the topmost on the agenda of the President Bola Tinubu administration in the health sector will be increasing domestic health financing, industrialization, and improved health outcomes.
The Vice President said this when a delegation from the Global Health Partners – the Global Fund, US President’s Malaria Initiative (PMI), and the US President’s Emergency Plan For AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) paid him a courtesy visit at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
Shettima who restated the commitment of the Tinubu administration to repositioning Nigeria’s healthcare system, pledged the President’s political support to “improve health outcomes for all Nigerians; increased domestic financing for health; and promoting health industrialization.”
He said, “These are three major commitments I am making on behalf of my boss, and be rest assured that our word is our bond.
“I want to assure you that we are determined to catapult the nation to a higher pedestal. We are committed to changing the narrative of inclusive growth, of a Nigeria where every black man will be proud of.
“President Tinubu is a man of vision and he dares to follow through whatever he believes in, from the appointment of the Minister of Health, there is a clear testimony to the drive, the political commitment of the President and the current leadership towards repositioning the Nigerian nation.
“The Minister of Health is a man of impeccable credentials. He is a celebrated public health practitioner with the experience, exposure, and commitment to drive the change we seek in the health sector.”
The Vice President urged the Global Health Partners and other stakeholders in the health sector to support the new leadership in the Health Ministry to actualize the President’s vision for all Nigerians.
Earlier in his remarks, the Minister of Health and Social Welfare, Prof. Ali Pate said the visit of the global health partners was to take stock of the progress made so far and reassure the Tinubu administration of their commitment to the efforts to combat HIV AIDS, Malaria and Tuberculosis, among others.
On his part, the US Global AIDS Coordinator, Amb. John Nkengasong said the visit which coincided with the commemoration of the US Government’s 20 years of support to Nigeria’s fight against HIV AIDS through the PEPFAR initiative, has provided an opportunity for the partners to appreciate the vision and direction of the Tinubu administration for the health sector.
Amb Nkengasong commended the administration, noting that the Health Minister’s clarity of vision and commitment to building an inclusive health system for the country, would help the partners align their goals and targets in the various interventions.
In separate remarks, Mr. Peter Sands of the Global Fund and David Walton of the President’s Malaria Initiative, commended the Federal Government for its efforts towards combating Malaria, HIV AIDS, and Tuberculosis and urged all stakeholders to sustain the momentum, especially in the bid to achieve the 2030 target of eradicating HIV AIDS in Nigeria.
All the partners at the meeting pledged their support and commitment to work with the Tinubu administration to deliver on its mandate and vision for the health sector.
Other dignitaries at the meeting were the Director General of the National Agency for the Control of AIDS (NACA), Dr Gambo Aliyu; US Consul General in Lagos, Will Stevens and the WHO Country Rep, Dr Walter Kazadi Mulombo, among others.