Ms Njide Ndili, the Country Director of PharmAccess Foundation in Nigeria, says over 900,000 patent medicine vendors operating in the country are not licensed.
Ndili disclosed this at the 2019 Future of Health Conference, on Thursday in Abuja, while speaking on the “Equitable patient-centered healthcare.’”
The theme for the 2019 conference is: “Time to Focus on Quality Healthcare: Improving Outcomes”.
According to her, a lot of work needs to be done by the government and all stakeholders because the over 900,000 patent medicine vendors are the ones providing care to rural communities in the country.
”There is a lot of work to be done. The market is big. The problems are huge. So, we all need to collaborate.
“The government needs to make sure that quality improves; it should also try to be innovative, and at the same time be practical in developing solutions to quality healthcare in the country.
“Universal Health Coverage (UHC) is dependent on the quality of care given. If people are not going into the health facilities, then there is no point,” she said.
Ndili noted that without technology, the country may not be able to measure its impact in healthcare delivery.
“Technology helps us to improve our methodologies,” she added.
Dr Obi Adigwe, Director General, National Institute for Pharmaceutical Research and Development (NIPRD), said that Nigeria must understand that as they introduce quality into any system, they introduce economic development and improved capacities also.
Adigwe said that quality was uniform no matter where Nigerians go, but they must also understand the contextual issues per cultural values.
Mrs Patience Dickson, a Co-Founder of Advocacy for Women with Initiative, noted that persons living with disabilities were part of the society and must have access to healthcare and quality services.
Dickson stressed the need for the introduction of community health insurance schemes, especially for Persons with disabilities.
“This will help us reduce the cost of quality healthcare,” she said.
She also called for training and retraining of health workers on how to treat people with disabilities, including the women and children.
The Future of Health Conference series is a platform in Nigeria that brings together Civil Society Organisations (CSOs), health professionals and development partners.
The platform also brings together policy makers looking for solutions to the challenges facing Nigeria in the health sector.