Health practitioners have called for collaboration with policy makers including politicians to bring out policies that would enhance health practice in Nigeria.
They stated this at a training workshop put together by Women’s Health and Action Research Centre (WHARC) in collaboration with West African Health Organization (WAHO) and the University of Ottawa, Canada in Benin City.
Speaking at the event, Permanent Secretary, Edo State Ministry of Health, Peter Ugbodaga said that though there have been functional policies, bottlenecks have prevented a huge percentage of the people from benefitting from such policies.
He also said that some of the policies and projects in the health sector are not sustainable because they lack adequate and up to date research. Director for African Institute for Health Policy and Health System, Ebonyi State University, Prof. Jesse Uneke said that in other to resuscitate health policies from the neglect it has suffered for years, professionals in the health sector must engage policy makers in government.
“We need to build working partnerships with parliamentarians, house Committees on health and other politically savvy individuals because they are able to make laws. When you build solid supports, you don’t have problems with implementations,” he said.
He further advised that professionals in the health sector should vie for political offices as this is the only way policies can be made that will have lasting effects on the people especially those in the grassroots.
On his part, the pioneer Vice Chancellor of Ondo State University of Medical Sciences and founder of WHARC, Prof. Friday Okonofua, said that the training programme was designed to address marginal budgeting for bottlenecks and knowledge translation and training with the goal in mind to ensure maternal mortality is ended in rural communities.
“We are researchers and also involved in advocacy, we have researched and we know what is on ground and we want our knowledge and findings developed into policies. this is why we need government to engage capable hands in rural community health centers and provide adequate equipment to community based health centers so that matter all mortality can become a thing of the past,” Okonofua said.