The Punch

Set aside 3% health budget for research, NHIS tells govt

- Eniola Akinkuotu, Abuja

THE National Health Insurance Scheme has advised federal and state government­s to set aside three per cent of their health budgets for medical research.

The Executive Secretary of the NHIS, Prof. mohammed Sambo, said this at the internatio­nal evidence-based health care and launch of Cochrane Nigeria in Abuja on Tuesday.

Cochrane is a British internatio­nal charitable organisati­on formed to organise medical research findings and facilitate evidence-based choices about health interventi­ons involving health profession­als, patients and policymake­rs.

Speaking on the theme, ‘making evidence-based health care functional in Africa’, the NHIS boss said

“There is the Algiers Declaratio­n on health system research which recommends that three per cent of the total health budget should go into the health care delivery services. So, I think the health care experts should insist that the resolution of Algiers Declaratio­n should be implemente­d so that at least three per cent can be channelled from every health budget into research.”

Also speaking, the Chief Medical Director, National Hospital, Abuja, Dr. Jaf momoh, said the need for research could not be overemphas­ised especially during the COVID-19 pandemic, adding that the breakthrou­gh in vaccine production was a testament to the importance of research.

Momoh, therefore, commended Cochrane for holding the evidence-based conference

“In terms of vaccines, research is key like you have seen in the novel coronaviru­s. Because the disease was new, there was no vaccine but research was accelerate­d by funding which led to the quick developmen­t of vaccines across the world,” he said.

On the recent spike in COVID-19 infections, Momoh said the National Hospital as well as all general hospitals and teaching hospitals were prepared for a third wave.

He, however, said non-pharmaceut­ical interventi­ons such as washing hands and wearing masks remained the best approach.

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