Governor of Ekiti State, Dr Kayode Fayemi, has called for increased investment in health security to defeat future pandemics as COVID-19 has made Nigeria to realise its strengths and weaknesses.
Fayemi, who is also the chairman of the Nigeria Governors Forum (NGF) made the call at the centenary celebration of the Association for General and Private Medical Practitioners of Nigeria (AGPMN) in Abuja yesterday.
He said neither individuals, governments nor the global development community could entirely prevent the emergence of diseases.
Fayemi said Nigeria could prepare better by strengthening its health system through investment in health security and universal health coverage.
He said investing in health security through financing epidemic preparedness is a smart and cost-effective way to protect lives and safeguard the economy with a significant return on investment.
According to him, in addition, the resources and infrastructure required for pandemic preparedness also facilitate efforts to fight endemic diseases, that investing in health security not only saves lives but is also a vital investment in the wider economy.
“In Ekiti State, for instance, we have taken advantage of the COVID-19 pandemic to strengthen our public health security. We have decentralised testing to 145 testing centers, the highest in the country, and improved our disease surveillance capacity to pick up early signals of possible outbreaks,” he said.
Earlier, the president of AGPMN, Ambassador Iyke Odo, said Nigerians were witnesses to the poor state of the country’s healthcare delivery system that, with all modesty, had eroded the fabrics of its foundation and left it suppressed and incapacitated.