The Nigerian Economic Summit Group (NESG) in collaboration with the African Economic Research Consortium (AERC) and the Oxford Committee for Famine Relief (OXFAM) have called on authorities to ensure access to medical services safe and affordable for more Nigerians.
Speaking at the event held in Abuja, Dr. Ololade Adewole from the National Center for Technology Management, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile Ife said that the female sex needs more health services than their male counterparts .
Adewole said a larger percentage of unemployed and uneducated women need maternal health services than their male counterparts, even though men tend to have better access to health services than women.
He said that certain factors such as poor access to health services, poverty, fear, lack of information, distance between home and health facility and lack of transportation have contributed to preventing people to access sexual and reproductive health services during lockdown.
“Mobile health clinics, public awareness programs, adoption of telemedicine and home health care, provision of social assistance products, giving special attention to women and encouraging the use of social media platforms through the provision of subsidized data charges and internet counseling should be included in policies as a way to empower people, especially women, to close the gender gap in access to health services,” she said.
The dissemination workshop was held on Tuesday with the support of the International Development Research Center (IDRC) on the theme “Gender differences in access to medical services during the COVID-19 confinement: insights of Nigeria”.
The AERC undertook the research in Ethiopia, Nigeria, Kenya, South Africa and Zambia and the workshop aimed to disseminate the results of the research in the Nigerian space to policy makers and key stakeholders to drive policy implementation in Nigeria.
In her opening remarks, AERC Research Director, Ms. Dianah Mukwate Ngui, said the objectives of the project are aimed at the socio-economic impact of the pandemic on gender in order to create gender-responsive, transformative and inclusive policies. sensitive.
The research aims to use analytical evidence to build the capacity of researchers and institutions, create a network of stakeholders, and develop a body of evidence that will strengthen collaboration while identifying the different options that will ensure equitable and sustainable policies.
During the panel discussion, the Commissioner for Health of Lagos State, Prof. Akin Abayomi revealed that the awareness programs of the Lagos State Government were geared and targeted towards health affected populations family, maternal and child health, silent diseases and dental and hearing care. deficiencies. He noted that the majority of health caddies in Lagos were women, with medical staff in the state having more women in the medical calibers.
Ms. Peggy Imoniovu, program manager of Safecare, who represented the Nigerian country director of the PharmAccess Foundation, Njide Ndili, said that initiatives such as the national cash transfer program have helped free up cash for citizens and reduce the amount of health expenditure.
For his part, Dr. Nkata Chuku, health systems consultant founding partner and facilitator of the NESG Health Policy Commission, said there was a need to know the people for whom the services were designed, the demographics and the prevalence of targeted diseases in order to be able to influence adoption in policy design strategies.
Deputy Director of NESG Center for Policy Innovation, Dr. Osasuyi Dirisu, said a number of factors, such as access to health facilities, attitude of health workers and lack of services youth-friendly and friendly, all contributed to limiting access to medical services. She also noted that income disparity, skewed against women, had a direct implication on access to health services, given that women do much of the spending at home, which inadvertently reduces the remaining money for health services.