American Tech billionaire and philanthropist, Bill Gates has advised the Federal Government to consider improving the poor health care system in the country rather than spending heavily on purchasing COVID-19 vaccines.
He advised that the Government should take a more holistic approach in improving the basic health facilities in the country especially.
Bill Gates said this while responding to a question posed to him by a Journalist from PUNCH News during an interactive section with select African Journalists.
Recall that Health Minister, Dr Isaac Enahire said in December that the cost of vaccinating 70% of Nigerians will cost about N400b at the rate of $8 per Nigerian.
However, Bill Gates posited that the Federal Government should rather manage the limited resources it has on improving primary health care in the country instead of spending heavily on vaccines.
There is no doubt that the impact of putting money into the health system particularly the primary healthcare system will be very high in terms of saving children’s lives and you are absolutely right.
Nigeria should not divert the very limited money that it has for health into trying to pay a high price for COVID vaccines.
The key thing would be, Nigeria is still GAVI eligible and so for a lot of those vaccines, they will come through this GAVI facility that we raise money for and health in Nigeria is generally underfunded.
“If you look at the primary health centres in the North, in particular if you look at the vaccine coverage rates, there are literally millions of lives that can be saved if the primary health system operates at a level that some other countries at the same wealth of Nigeria if the system was this good.
Quote via PUNCH News