Conference to reflect on “the political economy of health” | The Guardian Nigeria News



Ahead of the 2023 General Elections, Nigeria Health Watch will host the eighth edition of the Future of Health Conference on Thursday, October 13, 2022, themed “The Political Economy of Health: Investing in Health”. future of Nigeria”.

The organisation’s chief executive, Vivianne Ihekweazu, told reporters yesterday that the aim of the flagship conference was to provide a visible platform for key stakeholders in health, finance, politics and other related sectors to discuss factors influencing health policies in Nigeria; how political, social and economic factors shape individual and population health outcomes; development of health services in the economic and political context and how to create a national health service that meets the needs of all Nigerians.

Ihekweazu said the 2023 general election is an opportunity to use the potential political window to push health care to the top of the political agenda and ensure it takes its rightful place alongside economy, security and other priority issues in political discourse.

She said the politicization of health has seen the increased involvement of political leaders in health affairs and revealed the need for greater political will and commitment to drive lasting changes in the health agenda. from the country.

“There is a need to prioritize health policy because it is in the enlightened interest of political leaders to drive health policy that leads to greater access to quality and equitable health care for citizens. Ultimately, we must make health a political priority if we are to make meaningful progress towards Universal Health Coverage (UHC) and if we are to see an improvement in Nigeria’s health indices,” said Ihekweazu.

She added: “The recent pandemic has exposed how fragile our health sector is and we need to create an avenue of discussion to ensure that our leaders and policy makers prioritize health care as a critical investment and catalyst for economic growth.”

Ihekweazu added that continuous advocacy is essential for the development and implementation of policies that result in positive change, growth and development for the Nigerian health system.

The objectives of the Future of Health Conference 2022 are:
1. Foster dialogue among key policy-making, economic and healthcare stakeholders on the need for more innovative, scalable and sustainable healthcare strategies
2. Amplify the role of local, state, and federal governments in creating a more enabling environment for greater access to health care to achieve better health outcomes for individuals and communities
3. Advocate for the development and implementation of policies that result in positive change, growth and development for the Nigerian health system
4. Share a seven-point statement suitable for dissemination to relevant public and private sector stakeholders, through print media, that would highlight the key outcomes of the conference

Speaking about the conference, Nigeria Health Watch Communications Officer Uche Nwagboso said next year’s general elections will be crucial as the focus is on ensuring that the health discourse goes beyond decision-makers in the health sector, but also people outside the health sector. because health concerns everyone. “We have an incredible list of speakers who will speak on key issues such as health economics, politics and health, and political leadership in health.”

Nwagboso added, “The list of expected speakers includes experts and thought leaders from the public and private sectors, financial organizations, policy makers and influencers at state and national levels, development professionals from civil society organizations civil servants and State civil servants”.

The Future of Health Conference is Nigeria Health Watch’s flagship event and previous conferences have covered Universal Health Coverage in 2015, Health Meets Technology in 2016, Health Business in 2017, Diaspora as the Brain of Nigeria in 2018, Quality of Healthcare in 2019, Health Innovations in 2020 and Gender Equality – Breaking Glass Ceilings in 2021.

The Future of Health conference this year will be a hybrid event to allow a wider audience to participate in the discussions.

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