Prof Charles Soludo, Former Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has called for collective response in tackling poor healthcare system, poverty and other major challenges facing the country.
Soludo made the call at the 26th Annual Lift Above Poverty Organisation (LAPO) Development Conference in Abuja on Tuesday.
He said that public policy could not be effective without a vigilant and demanding citizenry.
He said that individuals and non-state actors accounted for some 75 per cent of healthcare expenditures.
The former CBN governor said that a sustainable strategy of the future was how to mobilize this dominant but latent force to transform the delivery system.
He advised NGOs and CSOs to go beyond advocacy and become champions of transparency and accountability in healthcare expenditures.
”We must think through how to mobilize our churches, mosques, traditional and professional institutions as forces for good in healthcare delivery.
”These constitute the largest forum to reach the largest segment of the population.
“Most of the leaders in these organizations will easily understand and cooperate.
”But some, especially some of the magical miracle centres which feed upon the Siamese challenges of the most vulnerable, poverty and ill-health might feel challenged.
”However, the conversation must begin and ultimately, the dominant force of science and reason will triumph over superstition and ignorance.
”Once the citizens become conscious of the fact that they will only get the quality of healthcare they persistently demand for and conscientious leaders emerge to organize and mobilize action for change, the healthcare delivery system won’t be the same again,” he said.
Chief Executive Officer, LAPO, Godwin Ehigiamusoe said that the way forward was to focus on key challenges of the Nigerian healthcare delivery system and expectedly advance a set of recommendations.
Ehigiamusoe, who noted the theme for the conference as ”The Nigeria Healthcare Situation: The Way Forward”, stressed that the losses occasioned by poor healthcare delivery were enormous.
According to him, poor health is not only an indicator of poverty; it equally constrains the realisation of the desired citizens’ contributions to overall national development.
”Access to quality health care or lack of it, is a vital factor in the overall assessment of the wellbeing of the people.
He, therefore, called for prioritising universal access to health care by local and international stakeholders in the health sector.