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Toyin Saraki welcomes new World Health Organization ‘State of Health in Africa’ report; calls for sustainable improvements towards universal health coverage

Her Excellency Mrs Toyin Ojora Saraki, Special Adviser to the Independent Advisory Group of the World Health Organization (WHO) Regional Office for Africa, has welcomed the launch of ‘The State of Health in Africa’ report which demonstrates that improvements in health can only be sustained and expanded if countries significantly alter the way they deliver essential health services.

The report was launched today in Dakar, Senegal, by Dr Matshidiso Moeti, WHO’s Regional Director for Africa, at the 68th session of the WHO Regional Committee for Africa.

Mrs Saraki commented:

“I welcome the launch today of the comprehensive analysis of the state of health in Africa, showing some improvements but outlining the significant steps that must now be taken to ensure healthy lives and promote wellbeing for all.”

“The report correctly places a focus on the importance of countries prioritising the performance of their systems, to bring about sustainable steps towards universal health coverage.”

“In its analysis of Nigeria, the report found that healthy life expectancy, morbidity and mortality rates are lower than the regional averages and that tangible system investment levels are too low for effectiveness of system processes.”

“I continue to advocate for the implementation of the ambitious Transformation Agenda pioneered by Dr. Moeti, which seeks to transform the health sector across the region, breaking down silos and moving towards an integrated approach to prepare for and address disease outbreaks and dramatically improve health outcomes.”

Dr. Moeti commented:

“Health services must keep up with the evolving health trends in the region. In the past we focused on specific diseases as these were causing a disproportionately high number of deaths. We have been highly successful at stopping these threats and people’s health is now being challenged by a broad range of conditions.  We need to develop a new and more holistic approach to health.”

Mrs Saraki is also the Founder-President of the Wellbeing Foundation Africa (WBFA) and Wife of the Senate President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

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