The 7th of April every year was dedicated by the United Nations as World Health Day and, this year also marks the 75th Anniversary of the founding of the World Health Organization. It also coincides with this year’s marking of World Health Workers Week from the 2nd to the 8th of April. We are therefore holding this Press Briefing today 6th April 2023, to mark triple significant events in the health sector. 


2. The theme of the 2023 World Health Day is “Health for All –Strengthening PHC to Build Resilient Systems”, while the theme of the World Health Workers Week is “Investing in the Health Work Force”. “Health for all Strengthening PHC to Build Resilient System” speaks to one of the key initiatives of the Buhari administration, to create a balanced health system by strengthening the PHC network in Nigeria, with increased investment in the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA) to foster the Primary Healthcare Under One Roof (PHCUOR) concept. The idea is to integrate PHC activities of Federal, State, and Local government, into one Authority, for synergy and to reduce fragmentation and waste of resources in the management and delivery of PHC services. PHCUOR is based on “One Plan, Management and One Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E),” and, though still a work in progress, has strengthened the national health system. 


3. The Federal Government, in a bid to reverse poor health indices and provide Universal Health Coverage initiated the revitalization of about 10,000 primary healthcare centers nationwide, exemplified by the revitalized Kuchigoro PHC in FCT. More than 4,000 PHCs have been revitalized so far, while working towards a new PHC model equipped will staff quarters, solar power, and assured potable water supply, to enable 24/7 service provision to citizens. These steps have improved primary healthcare services in Nigeria and reduced challenges women face in childbirth and addressing home emergencies.


4. The Basic Health Provision Fund (BHCPF) was established by the National Health Act (2014) to provide and finance essential health services that address our poor health indices at Primary Health centers, to poor and vulnerable citizens, especially in rural areas, on our path to a Universal Health Coverage. The effort includes the provision of emergency medical services with a rural Ambulance System (RAS) under a National Emergency Medical Service and Ambulance System (NEMSAS), at no charge at the point of care. These initiatives are undergoing pilot testing in some states. This Administration provided the first seed money for BHCPF from 1% of CRF of the Federation. It is to be augmented with funds from various sources, including State Government and Development partners, and managed by National Health Insurance Agency (NHIA), National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NHPHCDA), and Emergency Medical Treatment Committee. Funds are allocated directly to PHCs according to established guidelines, and supervised by the PHCUOR, which monitors performance and expenditure. States are required by the Act to contribute a counterpart fund of 25% to the fund.

The BHCPF covers health services, including maternal and child health services, immunization and supports treatment for malaria, tuberculosis, and HIV/AIDS, and provides essential drugs and medical supplies, as well as upgrading primary healthcare facilities and recruitment and training of healthcare workers, with many other additions planned. BHCPF contributes greatly to reviving and improving the PHC system in Nigeria and bridging critical gaps in our health system.



A. The Federal Government (FGoN) through National Primary Health Care services has as of 1st April 2023; fully vaccinated 71,477,351 Nigeria residents with COVID-19 vaccines representing 61.6% of the targeted eligible population and another 82,474,931 people have received at least one dose of the vaccine. The Country is still implementing the SCALES 3.0 strategy using Johnson and Johnson Covid-19 vaccine until we achieve at least 70% coverage needed for strong herd immunity against the COVID-19 virus. 

B. Nigeria has remained free of Wild Polio Virus (WPV) which led to WPV certification in the African region in August 2020. In over 6 years, there has been no WPV found in Nigeria; a feat backed by a robust and efficient surveillance system, which supports empirical evidence that the wild poliovirus has been interrupted in the country. 

C. Nigeria’s immunization profile records a significant improvement from 33% in 2016 to 57% in 2021, despite Covid-19 pandemic distractions. 

D. the 2022/23 supplemental immunization activities (SIAs) were integrated into other PHC services under the motto: “One Country, One Team, One Plan, One Budget”. The SIAs (Measles, Yellow fever & Men A) were integrated with COVID-19 in all States, with routine Immunization in zero dose LGAs, Vitamin A in 10 states, and Birth Registration in 18 states. 

Zero dose reduction strategy was implemented in 64 LGAs in 9 states identified with a high number of unimmunized children.


6. The second part of this briefing focuses on the theme of this year's health workers week, which is: “Investing in Human Resources for Health”. It is intended to create awareness and generate support for more investment in health workers, gender equity, a stronger economy, climate resilience, emergency responses, health for all, and good health and wellness outcomes for all. These are all topics the Federal Ministry of Health is already working on and, as Health Workers’ Week coincides with the 5th global forum on Human Resources for Health, it is a dual event to highlight a need to invest in Human Resources for Health. 


7. The next Press Briefing of this sort will be under another administration, so I take the opportunity to recognize the contributions and tremendous dedication of our health workers to services, especially those on front-line duty, whose work saves and improve health. Nigeria, our country, appreciates the sacrifices and efforts to keep Nigerians safe and healthy, demonstrated in the COVID-19 pandemic, when health workers rose to the challenge, taking risks to keep us all safe. I also remember and especially acknowledge all health workers, including those with our Armed Forces, who lost their lives in the course of providing healthcare at all levels, scenarios, and episodes, including the past outbreaks of threats like Lassa fever, Ebola, and COVID-19.

World Health Workers Week recognizes the need to support the future of the health workforce through short and long-term investments and support for front-line health workers, particularly in low- and middle-income countries. Global emerging diseases provide further reason to prioritize investments in health workers to respond effectively during pandemics. 

Nigeria is among 55 countries on the WHO’s Health workers support and Safeguard list, with a shortage of health workers. It calls for support for health workforce development and health system strengthening.


8. I want to use this opportunity to call on States in the country to remove their embargo on the employment of health workers and to invest in hiring more health workers which is a barrier to our vision of achieving universal health coverage and improved quality of care. I call on all concerned to ensure that more frontline health workers are recruited than others to ensure a substantial reduction in the shortage of health workers. 

The personnel budgets of health facilities should be spent on maintaining more numbers of frontline healthcare workers. 

9. In order to continuously generate and maintain comprehensive data on Nigeria's health workforce, the Ministry embarked on the establishment of the National Health Workforce Registry which is a web-based information system that links healthcare workers to their respective health facilities. The registry will seamlessly help to disaggregate Health Care Workers’ information according to cadre, gender, location, age, specialty, etc. I am glad to inform you that the Ministry has completed establishing registries in 25 states of the federation + FCT with support from partners and the data is being uploaded. Information from the registry in some states has been used to produce the state health workers’ profile and a bulletin. 


10. The Federal Ministry of Health has evidence-based and gender-responsive Human Resources for Health policy and a strategic plan to guide investments in the health workforce. We are responding to issues of health workers' migration by putting in place policy measures that ensure more health workers are trained, recruited, retained, and better remunerated. 

The Ministry is also taking steps to elevate Human Resources for Health Branch to a programmer to better deal with the many emerging Human Resources for Health issues in Nigeria. A Human Resources for Health Conference is being planned to discuss as many of these issues as possible 

and to find ways to mitigate the challenges. 

11. This year’s World Health Workers’ Week is significant as it marks the 75th anniversary of when countries of the world came together and founded the World Health Organization (WHO) to promote health keep the world safe and serve the vulnerable – so everyone everywhere can attain the highest level of health and well-being. I want to congratulate the WHO on this 75th anniversary of active service to humanity and thank the WHO for supporting the entire health sector in Nigeria technically and financially these years. 


12. I join the WHO Director General, Dr. Tedros Ghebreyesus to call on OECD to respect the provisions in the WHO health workforce support and safeguard list, 2023, and at the same time call on the global leaders, donors, and multilateral leaders to allocate long-term sustainable funding and implement policies that protect and support health workers everywhere. I want to thank all partners and stakeholders for your valuable support.


Thank you for listening.

11. This year’s World Health Workers’ week is significant as it marks the 
75th anniversary when countries of the world came together and founded 
the World Health Organization (WHO) to promote health keep the world 
safe and serve the vulnerable – so everyone everywhere can attain the 
highest level of health and well-being. I want congratulate the WHO on 
this 75th anniversary of active service to humanity and to thank WHO for 
supporting the entire health sector in Nigeria technically and financially 
these years. 
12. I join the WHO Director General, Dr. Tedros Ghebreyesus to call on 
OECD to respect the provisions in the WHO health workforce support and 
safeguard list, 2023 and at the same time call on the global leaders, 
donors, and multilateral leaders to allocate long-term sustainable funding 
and implement policies that protect and support health workers 
everywhere. I want to thank all partners and stakeholders for your 
valuable support.
Thank you for listening.

FMOH Agencies

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