Last weekend, the ONE Campaign took over Big Brother Naija to ask the housemates: How can we ensure all Nigerians have access to the healthcare they deserve? The housemates each presented their pitches to convince an expert panel and viewers on the importance of successfully implementing HUWE, a primary healthcare system, in every state in Nigeria.
Seyi Awolowo, grandson of one of Nigeria’s founding fathers Chief Obafemi Awolowo, won the advocacy challenge. He will travel to New York with ONE for the 2020 United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) and will join ONE’s fight for healthcare access for all Nigerians.
The housemates presented to a panel comprised of ONE Country Director, Serah Makka-Ugbabe, and ONE Ambassadors Bisola and Waje. Seyi stood out with this demonstrated knowledge of Nigerian healthcare outcomes and the strong case he made for HUWE implementation.
HUWE is a federal health programme aimed at delivering a minimum package of health services to all Nigerians through the primary healthcare system.
The BBNaija competition was part of ONE’s Make Naija Stronger campaign to ensure the successful implementation of HUWE throughout Nigeria. In January 2019, the Basic Health Care Provision Fund (BHCPF) was publicly launched under the name “HUWE”, which was crowdsourced. HUWE is an Ebira word meaning “life”.
If properly implemented, HUWE will deliver much needed healthcare services to Nigerians, help reverse Nigeria’s poor health outcomes and move the country significantly closer to universal health coverage.
Each year, 58,000 women die in Nigeria due to pregnancy and childbirth-related causes, making Nigeria the second largest contributor to maternal mortality in the world. Every day, 2,300 Nigerian children under the age of 5 die due to preventable disease. Life expectancy in Nigeria is 55 years (men), 56 years (women). By comparison, Ghanaians can expect to live significantly longer, 62 years for men and 64 years for women.
“HUWE could be a transformative program for Nigeria. It is the building block of having universal health coverage for all Nigerians,” explained Serah Makka Ugbabe, ONE’s Nigeria Country Director.
“Though the program has just being launched, it will not be successful except Nigerians know it exists and demand for it. ONE is delighted to welcome Seyi on board as an advocate for healthcare delivery to all Nigerians, regardless of gender, income or location. His voice will be a powerful addition to our advocacy.”
It is now up to the Africa’s governments to respond to the clamour of their citizens by prioritizing agriculture in national investments.