Society for Family Health Applauds Professor Muhammad Ali Pate’s Appointment as Minister of Health and Social Welfare

The Society for Family Health extends its heartfelt congratulations to Professor Muhammad Ali Pate on his distinguished appointment as the Minister of Health and Social Welfare. With an illustrious career spanning clinical practice, academia, development, and public service, Professor Pate’s extensive expertise uniquely positions him to spearhead the nation’s healthcare and social welfare sectors.

Nigeria’s citizens wait in great anticipation as Professor Pate assumes this pivotal role, confident that his wealth of global experience will be instrumental in shaping the future of healthcare in the nation. Drawing from his four decades of invaluable experience, Professor Pate’s ascendancy to this esteemed position comes at a pivotal juncture, offering a remarkable opportunity to guide Nigeria’s current health challenges. Professor Pate’s visionary leadership and unparalleled insight have been evident. Notably, his commitment to transparency and accountability during his tenure as State Minister of Health in 2012 underscores his dedication to effective governance. His most prominent achievement, however, lies in his transformative leadership in revitalizing Nigeria’s primary healthcare system, a testament to his unwavering dedication to improving the lives of all Nigerians.

As the custodian of Nigeria’s health and social welfare landscape, Professor Pate will harness his exceptional skills to lead, administer, and supervise the nation’s healthcare initiatives. His passion for equitable healthcare access, coupled with his pioneering approach to development, promises to chart a course towards a healthier, more prosperous Nigeria.

Professor Muhammad Ali Pate’s remarkable background as a pioneering healthcare thought leader and innovator is indisputable. As he embarks on his new role as a government minister, he faces a fresh set of challenges that require innovative solutions. With our extensive experience as longtime observers and partners of the Nigerian government and the Ministry of Health, we recognise the well-documented state of the health sector and the imperative to overcome its prevailing issues and obstacles.

The Society for Family Health (SFH) advocates for three pivotal actions to recalibrate Nigeria’s healthcare sector over the coming months. We urge Professor Pate to boldly pursue the initial step: a comprehensive shift toward community-centric approaches across all facets of health and social welfare. This goes beyond mere “consultation” on specific matters, evolving into sustained engagement that navigates the intricate web of healthcare challenges with a strategic lens.

One critical aspect is appropriate healthcare financing. We applaud the government’s commitment to innovative financing for health, yet we emphasis the urgency of establishing the right financial mechanisms that grant the underprivileged unimpeded access to affordable healthcare. This endeavour will dismantle barriers that prevent vulnerable populations from seeking essential healthcare. Moreover, addressing the foundational determinants of health disparities is paramount. We call upon Professor Pate to initiate targeted strategies that rectify health inequalities faced by poor and marginalized groups, thereby fostering an equitable healthcare landscape.

Additionally, we implore Professor Pate to remain guided by scientific evidence, as he has demonstrated throughout his academic and developmental journey. Evidence-informed governance decisions, policies, and guidelines will empower Nigeria to make informed and health-promoting choices.

Lastly, we highlight the pressing need to tackle the brain drain phenomenon, which corrodes effective healthcare service delivery and imposes substantial financial losses with far-reaching implications for both lives and the economy.

The ambitious vision and steadfast commitment that have defined Professor Pate’s career are precisely what Nigeria’s healthcare system demands. While monumental challenges and prospects lie ahead, we eagerly welcome him back to the helm of Nigeria’s Health and Social Welfare sector, appreciating his global leadership in public health response. Our collaboration with Professor Pate toward the shared objectives of universal health coverage and global health equity is eagerly anticipated.

All of us at the Society for Family Health (SFH) extend our best wishes to Professor Muhammad Ali Pate for a successful tenure in his new role.

Omokhudu Idogho

Managing Director, Society for Family Health