Dr. Muhammad Ali Pate Executive
Dr. Muhammad Ali Pate

Health Minister Affirms: Access to Good Health is a Basic Human Right

The Minister for Health and Social Welfare, Prof. Ali Pate, has said the right to health is not just a lofty ideal but a fundamental human right.

On the occasion of the World Health Day 2024 with the theme, ‘My Health, My Right.’ Mr Pate made the statement.

The statement was issued on Sunday in Abuja by the Director of Information at the ministry, Patricia Deworitshe

According to Pate, health as a human right is enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

He, however, said that even though it was enshrined in the declaration of human rights, for millions of Nigerians, accessing quality healthcare remained a challenge.

He said that in response to the pressing issue, the Federal Government had implemented various initiatives aimed at promoting equitable access to healthcare services and ensuring that every Nigerian could exercise their right to health.

“Through targeted government initiatives such as Basic Health Care Provision Fund and the Nigeria Health Sector Renewal and Investment Initiative and strategic partnerships, we are reaching remote and underserved communities. Providing essential healthcare services and promoting health education.

“Also, through the BHCPF, the government is strengthening primary healthcare delivery, improving infrastructure, and ensuring the availability of essential drugs and commodities in health facilities across the country.”

The minister also said that primary health care remained the centre of the government’s focus.

He added that the administration was determined more than ever before to ensure the delivery of quality, efficient and affordable health care through PHC facilities.

He said, “However, we recognise that there is still much work to be done. Challenges such as inadequate infrastructure, healthcare worker shortages, and persistent health disparities continue to impact the health and well-being of our citizens. As we commemorate World Health Day, we urge all stakeholders to join hands in addressing these challenges and advancing the right to health for every Nigerian.”

Mr Pate also said that while the government continued to invest in improving healthcare infrastructure and services, the responsibility for health ultimately rested with each individual.

Furthermore, he urged Nigerians to take proactive steps to safeguard their health and well-being by adopting healthy lifestyles, prioritising preventive healthcare measures, and seeking timely medical attention when necessary.

According to him, it is only through collective action and mutual support that the vision of a healthier Nigeria for all can be achieved.

Lastly, World Health Day is celebrated on April 7 every year to raise awareness of global health issues.