Following the continuous unrest in the North – East and other kinds of humanitarian emergencies across Nigeria, the Federal Ministry of Health and Relevant Stakeholders held a National Discuss tagged: ‘NIGERIA HEALTH HUMANITARIAN RESPONSE DIALOGUE’.
A major part of the event was a Panel discussion on: the way Forward for Sustainable Health Sector Response to Humanitarian Crisis in Nigeria ‘’ Humanitarian development peace Nexus’’
Speaking on the topic, Prof. Babatunji Omatara, who was one of the panelists, said that there was need for usage of data for future planning. He also said that health information management was also required at the local levels.
He pointed out the ‘’ need to strengthen partnership with local communities, ownership of programs and sustainability of ongoing efforts”
He further said that the level of preparedness for human emergencies needed to improve while calling for a sustainability plan to build human capacity and more funding for health care in terms of payment for health services.
The World Health Organization, Officer in charge in Nigeria, Dr. Clement Peters, said that integrated services required that humanitarian actors must be coordinated by the Federal and State levels of Government, with a common vision and common efforts.
He observed that the current uncoordinated situation was characterized by outbreaks resulting in malnutrition and gender based violence.
The Director, Health Services, Department of State Security (DSS), Dr. Ann Okoroafor said that ‘’Health threats are top on the list of security issues. National development is linked to health. Conflicts, diseases outbreak; regrettably impact on the health a people and impede economic growth’’
Dr. Okoroafor emphasized that Health workers needed to be protected in war affected areas like Maiduguri and other towns in the North – east. She also pledged that DSS would continue to cooperate with other relevant stakeholders working in the North – East.
Also speaking on the topic, the Overseeing Director, National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS), Mr. Bernard Omogo, said that Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs), were faced with social and physical dislocations.
He stressed that NHIS would mobilize resources to provide health coverage for all Nigerians in that the organization would explore all available avenues to garner support to ensure that IDPs had sustainable access to health insurance.
He further urged cooperate bodies to assist the NHIS in contributing to the pool of funds to cater for the IDPs.
The Panel was moderated by the Director, Special Project/ National Coordinator Health sector Response to Humanitarian Crisis (FMOH), Dr. Ngozi Azodoh.