By Yusuf Usman Danmadami

    Nigeria needs to prioritize investments in health and support domestic vaccine production, according to ministerial nominee Ali Pate.

    The physician was scheduled to begin serving as the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance (GAVI) until President Bola Tinubu nominated him for a cabinet position.

    Pati, a former minister of state for health, has dual board certifications in internal medicine and infectious diseases in the United States.

    Additionally, he has a master’s degree in health system management from the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine in the United Kingdom and an MBA with a focus on the health sector from Duke University in the United States.

    Speaking on Wednesday during his senate confirmation hearing, Pate emphasized the importance of funding for Nigeria’s prioritization of health care.

    He asserted that the government must capitalize on the economic worth of health and stop importing medicines and medical equipment that, with the right investments, could be produced domestically.

    “How else can we prioritize our people’s health except by allocating resources to it? In Nigeria, prioritizing health begins with funding. There is a side to governance, and there is a side to financing,” he remarked.

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    In Nigeria, health has not received the best priority. The average amount spent by the government on healthcare is $14 per person, but there are large variations. In Nigeria, families and individuals pay a large portion of healthcare costs out of their own pockets; the government contributes $12 to $14 per person, or around 1% of the GDP.”The Niger Republic has fewer resources than we do, but they contributed more to their GDP through health spending income than we did. That shows that something has been prioritized.”Domestic finance is a representation of the priority we place on health, but due to limited revenue, we are not investing enough.

    We unintentionally outsource the determination of health priorities to outside parties. The financial security of necessities like vaccines is crucial.It is regrettable that a portion of this nation has the worst immunization rates in the world. I therefore implore you to prioritize investing in your health and in measures that will keep you healthy as well as safeguard your children going forward.

    We have not fully utilized the potential for medical industrialization because 60 to 70 percent of the generic medications we consume are imported from nations that are similar to our own. “That industry has economic value that we haven’t fully realized. The same is true for service delivery and gadgets. When all of these factors are considered, it should be agreed upon to give health the highest priority and to use the budgeting process to effectively allocate resources.

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