To ensure the health security of Nigerians, the Coordinating Minister of Health and Social Welfare, Dr. Muhammad Ali Pate, has said the nation is working on a new health sector agenda.
Pate, a global expert on vaccines, who spoke virtually on Wednesday at the ongoing 2023 Grand Challenges Annual Meeting in Dakar, Senegal, also emphasised on the importance of tailoring science and innovation around health challenges, adding that this will boost global health security.
Addressing a global audience of health and development experts, as well as innovators , regulators and funders, Pate whose keynote address was through a pre-recorded video, opened the plenary session on “Collaboration saves lives”.
Stressing that a unified approach is essential to global efforts to save lives, he said: “As Nigeria’s Coordinating Minister of Health and Social Welfare, I find myself at the intersection of epidemiological challenges and a vast potential of healthcare advancement.
“This advancement also leads to medical industrialisation that will benefit not only our region here on the continent of Africa but also globally.
“Throughout my journey in health both within Nigeria and globally, I have had the privilege to witness the transformations brought about by scientific innovations.
” The average person now lives six years longer than just two decades ago, a testament to the profound impact of our collective endeavours.
“It is vital we continue fostering science and innovation around health challenges that we face in a shared spirit of solidarity and partnership.
” This will ensure health security for our populations, which is key to help improve the fundamental pillar of the Nigerian health sector agenda that we are now shaping.”
He urged the world to also recognise that the journey of innovation is ongoing and must be pursued with a clear sense of purpose.
He admitted that while there are challenges ahead, there are also unparalleled opportunities.
Pate added: “We can shape a future where everyone, irrespective of socioeconomic or geographical barriers, enjoy the highest standard of health, prosperity and wellbeing.
“As we look forward, collaborating to save lives while reflecting on our past to shape our future, I would like to quote Thomas Edison’s words: ‘A vision without execution is merely hallucination. The efforts invested in planning are wasted if not executed.’
“I urge us to take a unified approach and gently implement our shared vision of saving lives, working closely in partnership, a task that we must undertake together in order to succeed.”