The Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mr. Godwin Emefiele, says more research is needed to tackle domestic healthcare challenges.
He appealed for partnership between the government, private sector, researchers and academia in order to build a more robust and proactive healthcare infrastructure system.
Emefiele made this appeal while speaking at the premiere of “Unmasked,”- a feature documentary on Nigeria’s COVID-19 experience – which took place in Lagos on Friday.
The movie was produced and directed by a Nigerian documentary filmmaker, Mr Femi Odugbemi, and co-produced by Ms Kadaria Ahmed, a renowned journalist, media entrepreneur and television host, on Friday in Lagos.
The CBG Governor, who was represented by the the acting Director, Corporate Communications Department at the CBN, Mr. Osita Nwanisobi, said a Healthcare Sector Research and Development Intervention Grant Scheme was launched to support research on solutions that could address COVID-19 and other communicable/ non-communicable diseases.
He said, “Given the challenges our nation faced as a result of the pandemic, it is indeed vital that all stakeholders work to building the capacity of our researchers and institutions to address domestic healthcare challenges. ”
“Strengthening collaboration and partnerships between researchers, public as well as private sector stakeholders across the country is crucial in enabling Nigeria to build a more robust and proactive healthcare infrastructure system,” Emefiele said.
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“We also initiated the Healthcare Sector Research and Development Intervention Grant Scheme, which will aid research on solutions that could address diseases such as COVID-19, and other communicable/ non-communicable diseases. So far five major healthcare related research projects are being financed under this initiative.”
He pointed out that the COVID-19 crisis exposed the impact of public health on economic growth, government revenues and unemployment.
He added that financial regulator also double its efforts to build a sustainable healthcare infrastructure that could anticipate and respond adequately to a potential health crisis in the future.
He said the CBN “disbursed over N83.9 billion in loans to pharmaceutical companies and healthcare practitioners, which is supporting 26 pharmaceutical and 56 medical projects across the country.
“We were also able to mobilize key stakeholders in the Nigerian economy through the CACOVID alliance, which led to the provision of over N25bn in relief materials to affected households, and the set-up of 39 isolation centers across the country.”
According to him, these measures helped to expand and strengthen the capacity of our healthcare institutions to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.