Peter Obi to FG: Invest more in healthcare to prevent disease outbreaks 

The Labour Party (LP) presidential candidate in the 2023 general election, Mr Peter Obi, has called for more investment in healthcare to prevent disease outbreaks and improve life expectancy.

Obi made the call at the 6th Public Lecture of the Board of Fellows, Pharmaceuticals Society of Nigeria (PSN) at the Nnamdi Azikiwe University NAU, Awka on Wednesday.

The lecture with the theme, “Access to Quality Medicines in an Opinion unstable Environment’’.

He said that catering for the health of the citizens should be one of the major priorities of government to drive desired development.

“The most critical measure and driver of development in any country is improved life expectancy which is health. That is the number one thing, because your health is your wealth.

“It is only when people are healthy that they can become productive.

“According to the measurement of life expectancy, Nigeria is number 157 over 190 countries measured. That means we are low, and this is because access to healthcare is low.

“Under the sustainable development goals, health is a fundamental human right, meaning that every human being must have access to healthcare known as health equity but the reverse is the case in Nigeria,” he said.

Obi decried the rising cost of essential drugs in the country, urging the Federal Government to partner with local pharmaceutical industries for the manufacturing of high quality drugs.

He said that many Nigerians had resorted to prayers whenever they fall sick to secure spiritual cure, than go to the hospital.

“Our government needs to increase budgetary allocation to health and invest more in healthcare. When we do that, outbreaks such as cholera will not emerge.

“There is need for Nigerian to have access to medical care especially the poor, this can be done by providing health insurance to all the citizens.

“There should be a deliberate policy by government to ensure local manufacturing of drugs and medicines in the country to avoid over-dependence on importation of drugs,” he said.

Also speaking, Dr Afam Obidike, Anambra state Commissioner for Health, said Gov. Chukwuma Soludo’s administration acquired 5,000 hectres of land at Ogboji in Orumba South to build a Pharmaceutical Industrial City.

According to Obidike, the idea of the pharmaceutical industrial city is to change the known concept of importation and selling to manufacturing and exportation of drugs.

“It will be the biggest pharmaceutical distributors’ hub in West Africa,” he said.

Earlier in his address, Dr Joel Adagadzu, Chairman, Board of Fellows, PSN, said the recommendations from the lecture would help the leadership of PSN to continue the dialogue with government on finding equitable solutions to access to quality medicines for the teeming population

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Written by Nike

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