The NSIA’s investment strategy in the sector is to partner with both public and private institutions to create centres of excellence in healthcare delivery in Nigeria, focusing on diagnostics, tertiary healthcare targeting non-communicable diseases, and medical and pharmaceutical manufacturing.
The development, the Authority said, is in alignment with the Federal Government’s broader agenda to reverse the trend of medical tourism.
With the provision of healthcare facilities still at low ebb, many Nigerians remain vulnerably exposed to the danger of untimely and preventable deaths.
This is even as the situation accounts for the huge amount spent on medical tourism by citizens, which reports put at over $1billion in 2013, and has since continued to rise.
The Authority also called for emergency response, especially, with the outbreak of the Coronavirus pandemic in Nigeria, which has infected and killed large numbers of people, adding that it had become compelling to boost the level of investment in the health sector.
It also argued that the sector had suffered many years of neglect, and as such, equipment that is needed in certain facilities are either inadequate or obsolete or both.
As part of the NSIA’s COVID-19 relief programme, the Board will on Thursday, formally hand over 126 units of patient monitors, and 63 units of oxygen concentrators to 21 healthcare institutions across the six geopolitical zones.
The donation is aimed at supporting the containment of the recent surge in the reported cases of COVID-19 infections and to augment Federal Government’s ongoing effort to enhance clinical care available to COVID-19 patients as well as add to the stock of critical medical equipment needed in hospitals across the country.
Speaking on the plan to donate the equipment, the Managing Director, NSIA, Uche Orji, said the Authority expects that the supply of this equipment will help close the inventory gaps in these hospitals.
With the nation’s economy still in recovery, Orji said the Board was of the view that there is the need to add to the stock of critical medical equipment required for the containment of the virus in Nigeria.
He said the supply of oxygen concentrators and patient monitors is expected to boost the government’s efforts to provide an efficient and effective healthcare response for those affected by the virus.
He said: “With the nation’s economy still in recovery, and medical facilities in need of additional government support to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 virus, the Board felt the need to add to this stock of critical medical equipment required for the containment of the virus in Nigeria.
“We expect that this equipment would strengthen the government’s capacity to minimise potential fatalities.”
The project would be inaugurated by top government officials such as the Secretary to the Federal Government, Boss Mustapha; the Minister of Finance, Budget, and National Planning, Mrs. Zainab Ahmed; the Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Enahire; and the Director-General of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), Dr. Chikwe Ihekweazu.
Also expected at the event are the Chief Medical Directors of the 21-target medical centres, the Board of NSIA, and representatives of Civil Society Organisations (CSOs).