The Nigerian Economic Summit Group (NESG) affirmed health must be viewed as an investment and a catalyst for economic growth.
The group’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Designate, Mr Tayo Aduloju, made the disclosure in Abuja during a media conference.
According to Aduloju, evidence suggests that in developing countries such as Nigeria, every dollar invested in health yields an economic return of two dollars to four dollars.
He, however, noted that Nigeria’s maternal mortality remains among the highest in the world, with over 50,000 women dying every year because of pregnancy-related complications and a maternal mortality ratio estimated between 500 and 1,047 deaths per 100,000 live births.
He added that the figure exceeds the global target of 70 deaths per 100,000 live births.
He added that “maternal mortality is widely accepted as an indicator of a country’s health system.
“This implies that in spite of commendable efforts by the government and donor agencies, we still need to build bridges that will advance health outcomes for all.”
The CEO designate also said that gender equity, trade and inclusive health policies and programmes are critical for sustainable development.
He added that trade has the power to change people’s lives, communities and entire nations.
He said that health as the total state of one’s physical, mental and social well-being is a vital component of human development.
He said “a nation’s overall development, labor productivity and rate of economic growth are significantly influenced by trade and health.
“We see how rising healthcare costs, deteriorating infrastructure, lack of equipment and essential medicines and brain drain of
Health workers limit physical and financial access to health services.
“Health as an investment for economic returns must be included in discussions about economic prosperity, particularly in developing economies like Nigeria.”
Aduloju also said that trade agreements and policies vary the impacts on health determinants.