April 20, 2024 5:52 am
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Bill Gates Advocates for Improved Health Care System in Nigeria as Data Reveals Only $10 Spent per Person Yearly

American business magnate, investor, and philanthropist, Bill Gates, has made a passionate plea to the governments of Nigeria to optimise their healthcare budget. Speaking at the Youth Innovation Forum in Lagos, Gates called on the state and federal governments to focus more on improving primary health systems.

“It may not surprise you that Nigeria’s state and federal governments only spend the equivalent of $10 per person on health each year, compared to $31 in sub-Saharan Africa as a whole,” said Gates, the co-founder of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

He added that Nigeria is filled with talented people and potential and it will be difficult to fulfil such potentials without access to the most basic building blocks of life.

Improving Primary Health Systems
“Leaders need to make a much bigger financial commitment, focused most of all on improving primary health systems. Making sure clinics are well-staffed and supplied, making sure children get the vaccines they need-all of this is absolutely essential to improving health and opportunity and unlocking all of Nigeria’s potential,” he said.

He further stated that he has faith in Nigerian youths’ ability to make a difference in Nigeria and beyond, citing the unprecedented potential of new technologies. “However, the government and stakeholders must guarantee equal access to opportunities and innovations across the country,” Gates added.

Equitable Access to Opportunities and Innovations
Gates highlighted the difference in payment accessibilities in different parts of the country. “Nigerians living in urban areas are twice as likely to make digital payments as those in rural areas,” he said.

The healthcare budget in Nigeria has remained abysmally low in recent years. Gates’ call for an improvment in the healthcare system could be just what is needed to catalyse much-needed action from government and stakeholders. The future of Nigeria lies in its people and their health, and Gates’ advice should be heeded.

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