The Director-General, Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), Dr Chikwe, has said there is a need to rethink the current global healthcare delivery architecture to make it more collaborative and responsive to combat the coronavirus and future pandemics.
Dr Ihekweazu made this appeal recently in his keynote address, delivered virtually, at the 2020 NAPPSA (Nigerian Association of Pharmacists and Pharmaceutical Scientists in the Americas) Scientific Conference and Exposition in the US themed “COVID-19 Pandemic: Evolution of Science, Practice and Training.
COVID-19 has taught us that health is the basis of wealth, that global health is no longer defined by Western nations and must also be guided by Africa and Asia, and that international solidarity is an essential response and a superior approach to isolationism, Ihekweazu says.
NAPPSA, the foremost group of diaspora Nigerians with over 7,000 Nigerian pharmaceutical and related professionals, according to the groups President, Dr Anthony Ikeme, holds the yearly conference to, among other things, share knowledge and ideas on current developments and innovations in the medical and pharmaceutical field, providing insights to issues, as well as offer practical steps to help shape the future of the sector.
The NCDC boss said the new healthcare model must be global in outlook but easily adaptable to meet local needs. According to him, it must be equitable, collaborative, and resilient, with inbuilt environmental and economic components to forestall the current haphazard global response to COVID-19. It must also be able to meet the health security needs of each nation and inspire a new crop of scientists and public health professionals. Every country needs a National Public Health Institute to deliver on health security. We need to inspire a new generation of scientists and public health professionals. We need to build resilience in the supply chain for essential commodities and strengthen international collaboration for equitable access to vaccines and targeted support, Ihekweazu says.
Dr Ikeme, who flagged off the 2020 conference, charged that Nigeria must learn the lessons of the COVID-19 pandemic and should fortify her healthcare infrastructure to be better prepared for future emergencies. He commended Ihekweazu for the great job he is doing at NCDC in effectively coordinating the COVID-19 fight in Nigeria, hence his choice as keynote speaker. At the end of the keynote session, Ihekweazu was given an award by NAPPSA, which was presented by Dr Ikeme, in recognition of his exceptional leadership in monitoring and mitigating the impact of COVID-19 pandemic in Nigeria.
Ihekweazu applauded NAPPSA for the award even as he commended the association for its invaluable contributions to the global fight against the pandemic, particularly the leading role it continues to play in Nigeria to tackle COVID-19, including its regular updates and recent donations of COVID-19 medical and pharmaceutical materials worth millions of naira to the homeland.
Dr Ikeme assured that NAPPSA will continue to exploit its 10-Year Strategy Plan to increase “our organizational footprint and maximizing our impact as a professional organization both in the USA and in Nigeria.