Sunday, March 28, 2021

MWIA Conference: Quality Healthcare Delivery In Africa Region Panacea To UHC- Medical Stakeholders


By Victor Bieni, Asaba


As part of efforts by Medical Women's International Association (MWIA) to promote quality healthcare delivery in Africa Region in the just concluded Near East And African Region International Congress, stakeholders had said that Women healthcare decision making, key resources, resilient PHC systems, citizen's Community engagement, global partnership, harmony, Medical research for African vaccines on Covid-19 pandemic, fight against GBV, and promotion of CDC gender analysis are the major Panacea to Universal Health Coverage.
Our reporter learnt this in a communique made available to some group of Journalists in Asaba, Delta State Chapter by the Duo of The National President, Medical Women's Association of Nigeria (MWAN), Dr. Mininim Oseji and MWAN National Publicity Secretary, Dr Vivian Omo-Aghoja as the group concluded her Medical Women’s International Association (MWIA), Near East and Africa Region (NEAR) Congress which held between 24th- 27th of March 2021 at the Abuja International Conference Centre on the theme: "Accelerating Universal Health Coverage: Priorities, Opportunities and Challenges".

The communique reads in parts: "The conference which adopted a hybrid model- physical and virtual attendance was done in strict compliance with the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) and the Presidential Task Force (PTF) guidelines on meetings. The congress was attended physically by Ghanaian, Nigerian and Tanzanian delegates led by their Presidents, while many others attended virtually with a total of 410 registered and participated in the Congress".

"The opening ceremony was chaired by the Honourable Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire, which has the President of the Medical Women’s International Association (MWIA), Dr Eleanor Nwadinobi, the Honourable Minister of Women affairs, Dame Pauline Tallen, Chairman Senate Committee on SDGs, Aishatu Binani, Chairman Senate Committee on Health, Ibrahim Oloriegbe, and Chair House Committee on Health, Dr Yusuf Tanko Sununu in attendance who gave goodwill messages as the conference kick-started with a breakfast meeting hosted by the Delta State Ministry of Health, and thereafter continued with three plenary sessions, and three breakout sessions in five rooms.

The conference first plenary was on ‘Status of Universal Health Coverage in Nigeria, which was Chaired by the Deputy Governor of Kaduna State, Dr Hadiza Sabuwa Balarabe, and co-Chaired by Dr Alero Roberts. The speakers of the plenary who focused on the state of Universal Health Care (UHC) in African region highlighted what it will take to make progress towards Substainable Health financing, strengthening of PHC, Human resources; pointed at the challenges and prospects in the region.

The second plenary titled "Critical Healthcare needs and services for vulnerable groups, especially women and children" was Chaired by the MWIA regional Vice-President, Dr Christine Sadia and co-Chaired by Dr Lucy Idoko. They focused on critical healthcare needs of vulnerable groups in the region, women’s health priorities and interventions, promoting adolescent health, delivery of high- quality interventions on a continuum of Healthcare, eliminating barriers to accessing essential services for women and children, and community-based initiatives to advance UHC in the region. The
third and final plenary entitled "Actions to advance Universal Health Coverage" was chaired by Prof Hadiza Galadanci and co-Chaired by Prof Murthy Padmini.

The MWIA/ MWAN communique on the 9th Near East and African Region International Congress reads in parts: " The focus was on
some of the notable quotes by some of the speakers stated that
'MWAN/MWIA should be the catalyst that creates harmony within (and among) all health professionals and healthcare workers' – Dr Osagie Ehanire, Minister of Health, Nigeria
'Violence against women cannot be stopped by vaccine' – Dr Eleanor Nwadinobi, President MWIA 'Women ought to be at the table of decision making on healthcare".

"We should not always allow the men to make decisions for us on matters that concern us'- Prof Murthy Padmini, Secretary General MWIA
“In the quest to deliver Universal Health Coverage, no one size fits all". The PHC approach provides opportunity to engage communities in a bottom-up approach that promotes achievement of UHC' 'A respiratory pandemic is the worst nightmare that anyone or country can have'- Mohammed Abdulaziz, Africa CDC".

" Medical Stakeholders resolved thus after the Congress as the major solutions to Universal Health Coverage (UHC) in African Region: "The need to build strong and resilient PHC systems is paramount an imperative for the delivery of UHC in the region. Key resources are required for effective delivery of quality healthcare in the region include, adequate health financing, skilled human resource for health, basic equipment and essential medicines, commodities, and other materials".

"African countries should pro-actively take up the task of commissioning medical research on repurposing drugs and produce their own vaccines to meet the needs of the region, via collaboration of the member states.

MWIA would like to be involved in the Africa CDC gender analysis of the impact of Covid-19 in the region".

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