• Why healthcare access costs continue to rise, from UCH CMD
Approximately $100 trillion of global gross domestic product (GDP) could be lost to antimicrobial resistance (AMR) by 2050, with low-income and middle-income countries the most adversely affected.
This comes as the federal government has demonstrated its commitment to contributing to the global response to AMR and ensuring the responsible use of antibiotics.
Ifedayo Adetifa, Director of the Nigeria Center for Disease Control and Prevention (NCDC), who disclosed this in Abuja yesterday, said AMR causes 1.27 million direct deaths and is associated with a further 3.7 million deaths every year. He said that
He noted that low- and middle-income countries, including Nigeria, are bearing the brunt, accounting for nearly 90% of the deaths. Mr. Adetifa lamented that more than 99.5 percent of AMR-related deaths occur in children under the age of five, and recent studies show that AMR is more common than HIV/AIDS, malaria, or any form of cancer other than lung cancer. He added that evidence shows that more people die directly from the virus.
“In Africa, West Africa has the highest death toll from AMR at 27.3 deaths per 100,000 people, making it the region with the highest death toll from drug-resistant pathogens,” he said. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), there are 15 priority antibiotic-resistant pathogens that pose the greatest threat to human and animal health, four of which have been detected in Nigeria. The impact of AMR on economies, health systems, and the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) is enormous. ”
Also, the Chief Medical Director (CMD) of University College Hospital, Professor Jesse Otegbayo, yesterday said that unless drastic measures are taken, the cost of accessing healthcare in Nigeria will continue to rise.
Speaking at a press conference to celebrate the 66th anniversary of the establishment of the leading medical institution, Mr. Otegbayo said the current economic situation has accelerated the soaring cost of healthcare.
He stated that the effectiveness of universal health insurance through medical insurance, fixation of primary medical care, and reduction of the national population are extremely important for the provision of medical care.
The CMD said: “We all know that the economy in this country is not smiling on anyone. Therefore, due to inflation, the cost of accessing health care will continue to increase.
“But there are solutions. For me, the solution is universal health care. In a system where people pay out of pocket, at some level that becomes unaffordable. I have seen that it is not at the point of care that you are asked to pay.
“In the UK, the government pays it as tax and deducts it. It’s used for taxes. What’s surprising is that even foreigners who don’t pay taxes will be treated free of charge in case of an emergency. It’s a great system, and I hope ours is like that.”