Toyin Saraki canvasses support for universal health coverage at world economic forum

Wife of the Senate President, Toyin Saraki

To advance the goals of Universal Health Coverage (UHC) worldwide, wife of the Senate President, Mrs. Toyin Saraki has called on leaders to consider the critical components of achieving UHC and help local organisations engage with global financing facility (GFF) countries to further along the process.
Saraki made the appealed recently in her capacity as a Global Universal Health Coverage (UHC) Champion at the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum in Davos.

Speaking on the theme “Creating a Shared Future in a Fractured World”, she focused discussion on women, children and adolescents’ health and urged panelists and delegates to explore ways of achieving Universal Health Coverage locally.

Saraki who welcomed the fact that all the World Economic Forum’s Co-Chairs this year are women, said she was hearted by the passionate defense of gender and social equality made by the Prime Minister of Canada, Justin Trudeau.She said: “Having experienced the warmth and dedication of Members of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s Cabinet at the 31st Triennial ICM Congress last year in Toronto, I am convinced that he will follow through with the vision he has highlighted this week in Davos. His promise that, given Canada has the presidency of the Group of Seven industrialised nations this year, his country will make gender equality a priority for everything the G7 does this year is immensely powerful.”

Saraki however called on the prime minister to not only carry out his pledge to persuade girls to focus on STEM subjects but to also promote traditional vocations like midwifery and update skills of existing health workforce, as measures to help make UHC a reality.

She also commended Dr Tedros, the first African Director-General of the World Health Organization (WHO), Dr. Tedros for making it his core mission to advocate for Universal Health Coverage.

Saraki lamented that at least half of the world’s population do not have access to essential health services noting that each year large numbers of households are being pushed further into poverty because they must pay for health care out of their own pockets. She however hailed progress made in the country saying with the Senate President launch of the Legislative Network for Universal Health Coverage; the Primary Health Care Revitalisation Support Group has been a driving force.

Saraki revealed that the senate has resolved to mandate its Committee on Appropriations to include the one percent Consolidated Revenue Fund (CRF) for the Basic Health Care Provision Fund (BHCPF) in the budget for the first time.

She said: “My overriding goal at Davos this year, therefore, is to widen the knowledge about UHC and encourage the international community, national Governments and influential individuals to effectively and urgently support it.

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Toyin Saraki
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