Immediate past Governor of Ondo state, Dr Olusegun Mimiko, has advised
policy makers across Africa to make healthcare delivery a top priority by
emplacing a performance-based mechanism that will see Africa overcoming
its health challenges.
Mimiko gave the hints on Tuesday while delivering a keynote address on
“The Future of Health Engagement with Nigeria” at the ongoing conference
on Global Health by the Centre for Strategic and International Studies
(CSIS), Washington DC, USA where he addressed an audience including U.S.
government officials, health policy professionals, academics, and business
representatives from across the world.
He noted that funding for primary healthcare, lack of data and political
will, have been the major impediments to quality healthcare in Africa in
general and Nigeria in particular.
Citing the Ondo state example, the former Governor said the huge and
unprecedented result recorded in healthcare during his tenure was made
possible by a combination of key factors such as the introduction of the
Abiye Safe motherhood project which ensured adequate funding for primary
healthcare in spite of the dwindling resources, free healthcare services
for pregnant women and children under 5, well-structured referral system,
rewarding partnership with Traditional Birth Attendants and Faith-Based
Clinics, good use of data, among others.
“When I assumed office in 2009, we needed to tackle the deepening social
inequality and we found that only 2 percent of the state budget was
allocated to health, we changed this and by 2016, we have moved to 14
“We also gave incentives to healthcare providers and empowered them to be
able to take decisions at the facility level to improve on their services.
This has resulted in increase facility utilization and quality healthcare.
Another factor was passing into law a bill called Confidential Enquiry
into Maternal Deaths in Ondo State (CEMDOS) that penalizes anyone who
fails to report maternal death in the state and with that we were able to
solve the problem of data. All of these factors resulted in an
unprecedented achievement in the health sector that saw us setting the
standard for Africa” Mimiko said.
While rounding up his speech, the former Governor said Nigeria is the
investment destination in Africa and urged the international community not
to turn its back on the country saying the challenges confronting Nigeria
is peculiar to every growing nation.
According to him: “We cannot deny the fact that there are challenges in
Nigeria as it is with every growing nation, but we have also been
under-celebrated in some areas. If you study the Ebola curtailment
phenomenon, you would understand Nigeria is a giant waiting to rise”