By Sylvester Onoghase
Against the backdrop of how countries including Nigeria were particularly affected and caught unprepared for a pandemic of the speed and scale witnessed by the COVID-19 pandemic, one of the leading advocacy health platform, Nigeria Health Watch, has perfected plans to host a health security forum.
Themed “Decentralising Health Security, Lessons from COVID-19”, the forum will take place on the 14th of July 2022 in Abuja
The forum will bring together stakeholders from across the national and subnational level, the private sector, development partners/donors, and civil society organizations.
Recall that COVID-19 has had wide-ranging health and socioeconomic impact on societies globally, setting back some of the efforts and health gains as countries continue on their path towards achieving universal health coverage (UHC).
Although many countries around the world had to urgently react to the outbreak of the pandemic, most did not adequately strengthen their preparedness and response for an infectious disease outbreak such as this. Nigeria was unprepared as the health security structures required to strengthen the country’s epidemic preparedness response, had not received adequate investment.
The health security forum will enable relevant stakeholders to explore how existing response structures or systems performed during the COVID-19 pandemic, how private sector investments and partnerships were harnessed and the opportunities to strengthen the existing health security structures at the sub-national level.
Discussions will include how capacities built during the pandemic can be sustained to strengthen the country’s health security, especially at the sub-national level.
Vivianne Ihekweazu, Managing Director, Nigeria Health Watch, while speaking about the forum, said: “We cannot overlook the fact that the health sector in Nigeria has been historically underfunded.