Governments at all levels should invest more in strengthening the public health system of the country to make it more resilient in dealing with health crisis like the Covid-19 pandemic.
The Deputy Governor of Kaduna state, Dr Hadiza Balarabe made this known at the 2021 Faculty Day Lecture of the Faculty of Public Health and Community Medicine of the National Postgraduate Medical College of Nigeria that took place at Kaduna State University (KASU).
Dr Balarabe said that the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020, has put great shocks on the nation and exposed the weakness of the Nigerian health system in dealing with health crisis of the magnitude of the pandemic.
According to her, the Covid-19 pandemic has been the worse public health emergency in recent times and the effects have devastated the world economy as well as that of countries and sub nationals.
The Deputy Governor who was the host of the Faculty Day Lecture, said that Covid-19 has threatened public life and put health systems of countries under great pressure, saying the fallout has adversely affected the world economy.
She said governments across the globe took drastic measures and tough decisions on the need to save lives, and at the same time not to jeopardize people’s livelihoods.
“Pushed by the urgency to protect public health and safeguard wellbeing of their citizens, governments across the globe responded by shutting down their economies. This led to economic downturn, job losses, reduction in government revenues.
“The Covid-19 pandemic has been the worse public health emergency in recent times. The effects have been devastating in Kaduna state which recorded the third highest number of cases in the country, and one of the first to invoke the public health laws and institute lockdown orders,’’ she recalled.
Dr Balarabe reiterated that ‘’like all states of the federation, Kaduna’s economy was negatively affected not only by the pandemic, but also the consequences of the lockdown, which negatively impacted the economic and social lives of the populace.’’
She commended the Faculty of Public Health and Community Medicine for the choice of the theme, “Exploring the Impact of the COVID-19 on the Community and Mitigating Efforts”.
According to the Deputy Governor, the theme is very relevant in view of the impact of Covid-19 on the economy and the need to explore ways to mitigate those impacts.
Dr Balarabe was also presented with an award in recognition of the her public service in the health sector of the country.
Presenting the award, the former Registrar and senior Fellow of the institute, Professor Olanipekun Kamil Alausa, said the Faculty is proud of her contributions to the health sector and for exhibiting sterling leadership qualities as the Deputy Governor of Kaduna state.
Alausa also said the Board of the Faculty of Public Health and Community Medicine is proud that Dr Balarabe is a Fellow of the nation’s apex medical institute and a graduate of the faculty.