Microsoft co-founder Mr. Bill Gates has lamented that many countries that were not as wealthy as Nigeria had better health care systems.
The philanthropist attributed this to low domestic revenues being generated by the Nigerian Government, which he put at six per cent compared to about 15 per cent by other countries at this level.
He said, “If I had one wish for Nigeria, it would be that the quality and funding of the primary health care system would achieve the level of some other countries that are lower income but have done a better job with the primary health care system. So, it definitely is doable,” he said.
The philanthropist said now that the country had virtually defeated polio, his foundation would look at strengthening health care centres.
He said his foundation had been collaborating with Aliko Dangote in helping Nigeria to address some of its challenges.
Gates said he holds video conferences with at least six northern governors regularly, adding that there were some things northern Nigeria could learn from the South.
Nigeria and other African nations had in 2001 signed the Abuja Declaration which seeks to allocate at least 15 per cent of their annual budget to improve the health sector and urged donor countries to scale up support.
Over 18 years later, Nigeria has failed to do so.
The country still has one of the world’s worst health indicators