By Stanley Akpunonu
Business moguls under the aegis of the Private Sector Health Alliance of Nigeria (PHN) have partnered with the Federal Government to improve the health sector by leveraging innovation, advocacy, investment and partnership to support the ‘Save One Million Lives’ initiative.
The Chairman of Dangote Group, Aliko Dangote; Chairman of Zenith Bank, Jim Ovia; former Managing Director of Access Bank, Aig-Aigboje Imoukhuede; and other business leaders are intensifying efforts to salvage the country’s ailing healthcare system.
During the presentation of certificate to innovators who have recorded major feat in the area of health yesterday in Lagos, Ovia said PHN was set up as a private sector-led coalition to complement government efforts in the Save One Million Lives Initiative (SOML) and mobilise the private sector through a coordinated platform to improve health outcomes through innovation and partnerships.
Former President Goodluck Jonathan inaugurated the SOML as an elaborate scheme to expand access to essential primary health care services for women and children in 2015.
Ovia said that some progress has been recorded and current rates show a reduction in maternal and child mortality, adding, in order to see considerable improvement in the health sector; there was the need to rethink the way its challenges are addressed.
“The vibrant and fast growing private corporate sector in Nigeria with its business techniques, innovative approaches, influence, resources, capabilities and advocacy platforms can be greatly beneficial to the health system if harnessed strategically and aligned to government’s priorities.
“Initially, I doubted that one million lives are lost due to preventable diseases, but I thank the innovators that came up with the idea and we will continue to make sure that more lives are saved. The idea is to disrupt the old ways of doing things with new, accessible and affordable methods,” he added.
Chief Executive Officer PHN, Dr. Muntaqa Umar-Sadiq said: “Many have donated but we have not seen the commensurate result. We will not continue to do things the same way. We have to rethink. We engaged the business community to come together to focus on innovation, partnership, advocacy and impact investment