By Ifeanyi Nwoko
Mrs Toyin Ojora Saraki, Founder-President of the Wellbeing Foundation Africa (WBFA), has been named as “Health-for-All Champion” by an international media platform, Devex.
Mrs Saraki is one among four other women in the world to be conferred with the recognition by the media platform for their giant strides in the health sector.
Mrs Saraki who is the wife of the President of the Nigerian Senater, Bukola Saraki was recognized for her role in championing universal health coverage especially as it affects women and children.
She is also a special advisor to the Independent Advisory Group (IAG) of WHO AFRO, the World Health Organization’s presence in Africa
Speaking after receiving the award, Mrs Saraki said that it is time for all to open their eyes to the critical role that universal health coverage can play in drastically improving health outcomes as well as reducing poverty, driving economic growth and promoting gender equality.
“Every year, roughly 100 million people around the world are pushed into poverty due to colossal health costs, while only 1 in 5 has social security protection that will cover lost wages in the event of an illness.
“We must act to ensure that every person – rich or poor, old or young, living in urban or rural areas – has access to effective, timely and quality healthcare.
“I advocate for legislation and investment to make UHC a reality, and I am delighted that some recent progress has been made – the Nigerian Senate’s adoption of the one percent Consolidated Revenue Fund (CRF) for the Basic Health Care Provision Fund (BHCPF), is a ground-breaking example.”
“We do, however, need to consolidate and build upon these achievements as a matter of urgency.
“As a Health-for-All Champion, I will advocate for the benefits of UHC all over the world – but always challenge innovators, partners, experts and legislators to prioritise Nigeria, with its burgeoning population and health challenges,” she said.
Devex is a social enterprise and media platform for the global development community. Devex aims to connect and inform development, health, humanitarian, and sustainability professionals through news, business intelligence, and funding & career opportunities in international development.