The Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Mr. Boss Mustapha, yesterday warmed that Nigeria may risk experiencing another pandemic should it fail to maximise opportunities presented by COVID-19 to develop her health infrastructure.
He spoke in Abuja while inaugurating the Board of Experts (BoE) of the Healthcare Sector Research and Development Intervention Scheme (HSRDIS).
“If we lose the sense of the moment, we will be confronted with another pandemic and we will find ourselves starting all over again. If we had built on the experiences of Ebola and other epidemics that we have dealt with in the past, probably today we wouldn’t have started with about two molecular laboratories for the testing of COVID-19.”
The SGF noted that; “If you travel the shores of this country, you will find out that we have over 10,000 public primary healthcare centres scattered in wards and villages across the country, ill-equipped, ineffective, and not being put into use, but we keep building them.”
He implored members of the Board of Experts to also look at governance structures in the healthcare sector apart from your primary responsibilities. COVID-19 the SGF said “has exposed the weaknesses in our health system, in our governance system, in our security infrastructure, in our inclusiveness and creating social safety nets for our people.
“This intervention by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) will set us on the part of recovering our health care system in Nigeria.
If we did not have the opportunity of reconsidering the reconstruction of our health infrastructure in this country, this is a golden opportunity that has availed itself.”