Following the signing of the partnership agreement between Nigeria and the D-8 Organisation for Economic Cooperation (OEC) to host the Health and Social Protection (D-8 HSP) program office in Abuja, the Secretary-General of the D-8, Ambassador Dato’Ku Jaafar Ku Shaari, says the gesture by the Nigerian government will attract investors and help unlock the huge market potential in Nigeria’s health sector.
He reaffirmed the commitment of the D-8 to promoting health and social protection for citizens of D-8 member countries.
The Secretary-General stated that the programme is designed to accelerate progress especially in the context of SDGs 1, 2, and 3 which are critical indicators of improving health and living standards?
“I am happy to inform that the health and social protection programme has been structured in such a manner that resources will be leveraged from within the group, the strong supporting the weak, thereby reducing reliance on donor aid.”
He also said that the programme will support Member States to improve access to essential health services, improve quality of care, governance and human resource for health, prevent non-communicable diseases and provide social protection.
“Through the HSP programme, we hope to unlock the market potential in health amongst the Member States from which resources will be leveraged to fund the key intervention pillars of health, nutrition and poverty.”
In his remarks, the Nigerian Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Zubairu Dada, commended the D-8 for the laudable initiative to promote health and support human capacity development for D-8 member countries.
He added that it will be a great benefit for Nigeria as a member of the D-8.
The Permanent Secretary of Nigeria’s Ministry of Health, Mr Abdul-Aziz Abdullahi Mashi said there is no short-cut to development without investing in the people, hence, coupling health and poverty alleviation.
He said he is hopeful that the D-8 initiative will support the ongoing efforts to strengthen Nigeria’s health system.
The D-8 Member Countries include Bangladesh, Egypt, Nigeria, Indonesia, Iran, Malaysia, Pakistan and Turkey.
The Organisation has a combined population of over 1.1 billion people and covers an area of 7.6 million square kilometres which constitutes five per cent of the total world land area.