The World Health Organisation (WHO) representative in Nigeria, Kazadi Mulombo has lamented that more Nigerians are slipping into poverty due to health-related issues.
The WHO representative disclosed this yesterday during his address at the induction ceremony for newly appointed state commissioners of health in Abuja.
The event was organised by the Nigeria Health Commissioners’ Forum (NHCF) with support from the secretariat of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) and other health partners.
He congratulated the commissioners on their appointments and stressed the significant responsibilities they bear in achieving universal health coverage (UHC) and health security in Nigeria.
Mulombo emphasised the need for unconventional approaches in the Nigerian health sector and acknowledged the unique position of the commissioners in aligning their states with federal government policies despite the challenges specific to each region.
He stated, “With the ongoing increase in the burden of non-communicable diseases alongside communicable diseases and high out-of-pocket health expenses, more Nigerians are falling into poverty due to ill health, and many lack access to essential health services.”
He also highlighted international commitments to prioritise primary healthcare as the foundation of UHC and health security.
He urged the commissioners to translate these concepts into tangible actions for a more resilient health sector, even in times of emergencies.
“As leaders in the health sector, it is now more critical than ever to keep primary healthcare at the top of your governments’ agendas and ensure substantial investments in its development,” Mulombo stressed.
He affirmed WHO’s commitment to collaborating with the commissioners to turn health policies into effective actions.