-Restates Commitment to Universal Health Coverage
Towards attaining Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) target 3.8, which seeks to achieve Universal Health Coverage (UHC) through access to quality essential healthcare services and access to safe, effective, quality, affordable, essential medicines and vaccines for all, the Lagos State Government has reviewed and launched new editions of the Lagos State Essential Medicines Lists (LEML).
The unveiled LEML, which includes the third edition of the essential medicines list for adults and the first edition of the essential medicines list for children, consists of essential medicines for the management and treatment of communicable and non-communicable diseases, maternal and child health services, mental healthcare, and emergency care for the state populace.
Stakeholders at the official launch and dissemination of the LEML, held recently at the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI), Alausa-Ikeja, disclosed that the document is a guide to help with the treatment of various medical conditions, prevalent in the state and cater to the basic healthcare needs of adults and children.
The Permanent Secretary, Lagos State Ministry of Health, (LSMH) Dr Olusegun Ogboye, explained that the new editions of LEML will satisfy the priority healthcare needs of the population.
He added that the new essential medicines lists were reviewed and developed with due regard to disease prevalence, public health relevance, evidence of efficacy and safety, and comparative cost-effectiveness which are intended to be available in the state health systems at all times, in appropriate dosage forms and assured quality.
Ogboye, who was represented by the Director of Medical Administration, Training and Programmes in the State Ministry of Health, Dr Funmilayo Shokunbi, further explained that the review, development, and launch of the state essential medicines lists, which was done in collaboration with the Smile for Mothers Programme, will provide a platform for policymakers, healthcare providers, public health programme managers and implementing partners to determine and prioritise the medicine needs of Lagos State for the improvement of health outcomes.
In his words: “The launched essential medicines list reflects the latest updates and new additions to guide and inform the state’s medicines needs. This will help in promoting and achieving UHC as well as improve access to a full range of quality healthcare, where and when the need arises.
“This document will also provide a platform for policymakers, healthcare providers, public health programmes, and implementing partners to determine and prioritise the medicine needs of the state for the improvement of health outcomes of the populace as well as guide the procurement of essential medicines in the state”.
The Permanent Secretary who noted that the state essential medicines list was last reviewed in year 2012, disclosed that the ever-changing health needs of Lagos State necessitated the review and upgrade of the adult list into a third edition and the development of the first edition for children list to meet the growing health needs of the state.
While officially unveiling the documents, Ogboye stated that the development of the lists involved a rigorous evaluation and an evidence-based analysis which was carried out in collaboration with a diverse range of healthcare experts who provided insights in line with the working of the Year 2020 National Essential Medicines List (NEML).
He however assured that the state government remains committed to ensuring it achieves the UHC goal stressing that the government will not relent in putting in place policies, programmes, and projects geared towards the provision of qualitative and sustainable healthcare delivery to achieve the UHC goal.
Earlier, the Director of Pharmaceutical Services, Lagos State Ministry of Health, Pharm. Oyebisi Omolambe noted that the upgrade and launch of the state essential medicines lists is geared towards SDG target 3.8, which seeks to achieve access to quality essential healthcare services and access to safe, effective, quality, and affordable essential medicines and vaccines for all.
She appreciated the Smiles for Mothers Programme and other relevant stakeholders who collaborated with the state government in the realisation of the comprehensive state essential medicines list, noting that the Lagos State government remains open to more productive collaborations geared towards strengthening the health system and improving health outcomes for the citizenry.
“I wish to express my gratitude and appreciation to the organisers of the Smiles for Mothers Programme, for their immense support towards the development of this newly reviewed list (SEML). The Smiles for Mothers Programme has been instrumental in the realisation of this great task. We seek your continuous support and collaboration in the future as we continue in the journey of providing qualitative health to the citizens of Lagos State” ” she said.
Speaking in the same vein, the State Lead, of Smile for Mothers Programme’ Dr Damilola Oyedele, affirmed the commitment of the Smile for Mothers Programme to support governments at federal and state levels in the reduction of maternal mortality and morbidity, through partnerships that will create opportunities for the introduction of innovations that will positively impact healthcare delivery.
“We also want to use this opportunity to restate our commitment to supporting the Lagos State Government and the government of Nigeria to reduce maternal mortality and morbidity. We wish to continue to partner with the government to make policy changes to support the introduction of innovations and continue building the capacity of healthcare workers towards the goal of avoiding the death of women who are bringing life to the world” ” she said.