The wife of Nigerian President, Aisha Buhari, has urged African leaders to work together to facilitate private sector investment in health to ensure improved healthcare delivery among adolescent girls in the continent.
Mrs Buhari said this in a statement made available to newsmen by her Director of Information, Suleiman Haruna, on Wednesday in Abuja.
The statement also explained that Mrs Buhari was speaking at the just concluded 19th General Assembly meeting of the Organization of African First Ladies against HIV AIDS (OAFLA) held at African Union Headquarters in Addis Ababa.
The theme of the event was “Building on 15 years of engagement to harness the demographic dividend of Africa through promoting the needs of adolescents and their access to youth-friendly health services”.
The wife of the President said, due to the enormity of health challenges facing the continent, governments of individual countries alone could not effectively tackle these challenges, hence the need to engage private sector.
Mrs Buhari raised key areas of intervention by wives of African Presidents to include advocacy for the review of obnoxious policies, raising awareness on important areas of intervention and encouraging investment on women.
She said, investing in women has dual impact of positive health outcomes and economic empowerment for their self-reliance.
She, therefore, called for extraordinary actions and innovative partnerships to ensure their realization as embodied in the Sustainable Development Goals.
She said that, due to the emergence of new diseases and other health related humanitarian emergencies of the 21st century, there was a need to complement government efforts towards achieving Universal Health Coverage.
“Universal health coverage provides more than enough justification for greater involvement of the private sector in both delivery and financing of health care services,” she said.
Mrs Buhari narrated her experience through her pet project the” Future Assured” initiative, which she encouraged other members to emulate in their countries due to its impact.
NAN reports that the Future Assured initiative of Mrs Aisha Buhari, is, primarily, providing humanitarian assistance in the areas of healthcare delivery for most killer diseases for women and children.
NAN also reports that the initiative provides nutritional programme for pregnant women and the Get Involved initiative, which raised half a million dollars in essential nutritional materials for malnourished children, including those in IDP camps.
Mrs Buhari said that the interventions succeeded due to the involvement of the private sector.
In her welcome address, the newly-elected President of OAFLA and wife of the President of Ethiopia, Mrs Roman Tesfaye, said harnessing the demographic dividend of Africa was crucial to economic transformation.
Tesfaye said that, to realize this, consolidating and scaling up best practices within a country and across the nations in Africa was mandatory.