The Federal Government has released the sum of N100 billion loan to support drug manufacturers in the country.
This was made known by President Muhammadu Buhari when he received in audience leadership of the Nigeria Medical Association (NMA) on Tuesday in Abuja.
Buhari said the loan was a move by his administration to boost local production of medicines and medical consumables.
He further explained that the loan was released through the Central Bank of Nigeria's support for the private pharmaceutical sector.
Buhari added that his government is currently doing more to improve the health sector, noting that a committee chaired by the vice president, Professor Yemi Osinbajo is working on that.
The president who lamented over the brain drain in the health sector said he had directed the Minister of Health to engage Nigerian health experts in the diaspora to salvage the situation.
He further called for continuous support from the association to achieve better health care delivery in the country.
In a statement signed by the president's Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, the president said: ‘‘I commend our medical professionals for their contribution to Nigeria’s exemplary management of the COVID-19 pandemic, the control of malaria, HIV and Tuberculosis, and other feats also achieved by Nigerian doctors in the diaspora.
‘‘Our response to COVID-19 pandemic has been praised internationally and your members are key parts of this success.
‘‘I recall that in the last quarter of 2021, the immediate past NMA Executives visited me and presented recommendations for the health sector, which included, the review and amendment of NHIS Act; upgrading and equipping existing health institutions; loans to fund hospital equipment; the repeal and re-enactment of the Medical and Dental Practitioners Act; and Appeal for more funding for the four (4) newly established Universities of Medical Sciences.
‘‘I am pleased to inform you that most of these recommendations have been addressed, whilst further action is being taken to study those involving cross-cutting administrative processes with legal implications.’’
The Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire in his remark said the NMA has been friends with the federal government in achieving its goals in the health sector.
However the president of the NMA, Dr Uche Rowland Ojinmah expressed satisfaction over the president's gesture towards the health sector in the country, noting the president's assent to the National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA) Act.
He said the act will “improve the health indices" of the country.