For years this Halifax woman wondered why she was often short of breath. The answer was hiding in plain sight


Before Beth Slaunwhite was diagnosed with pulmonary hypertension (PH) she spent years trying to figure out what was wrong with her health. She enjoyed playing sports, but couldn’t run or jog for very long. In the months before doctors identified her illness, her symptoms got worse. She was often short of breath, and experienced fatigue and chest pain.

“I thought I was just out of shape, but the more I exercised the worse it got,” she notes. “I was always struggling for air. Thirty seconds into an incline I had to stop. I would almost pass out.”

Pulmonary hypertension is a rare, life-threatening condition that affects the lungs and heart. It causes arteries in the lungs to become narrowed or blocked, making it harder for blood to flow through. People living with PH experience high blood pressure in the lungs, which can lead to an enlargement of the heart and ultimately heart failure. There is no cure, and without treatment life expectancy is less than three years.

Patients are often misdiagnosed, because PH can be mistaken for asthma, and shares similar symptoms with more common heart and lung conditions. Sometimes the disease is genetic, but it can also be triggered by other illnesses, such as blood clots in the lungs or a connective tissue disorder. In some cases, the cause is unknown.

Slaunwhite, a 58-year-old mother of four, was diagnosed with PH in 2016. In her case, the disease is progressing more slowly than most. While very difficult to pinpoint in its early stages, there were hints of trouble from early on. As a teenager she was athletic but didn’t have much stamina. She was pretty good at sprinting but didn’t have the energy for distance running, On the basketball team, she would stop to catch her breath after one turn around the gym, as her teammates continued to race around the court.

Doctors had tried to figure out what was causing her condition, only to come up short. At first, they thought she had allergies or exercise-induced asthma.

Slaunwhite grew weary of seeing doctors and trying to decipher her mystery illness. Instead, she raised the white flag and tried to live as best she could with the symptoms. Over the years, that became increasingly difficult. She could no longer walk from her car up a slight incline to her work at the local hospital without stopping to catch her breath. Also, she began feeling more light-headed at work, and was worried she might faint.

Without a concrete diagnosis, she developed a sense of shame around her slow pace and lack of stamina. When she could not keep up with a 78-year-old friend, she pretended her fatigue was due to a bout of pneumonia. She recalls walking to a restaurant with her work colleagues and telling them her foot was bleeding from a cracked heel and they should go ahead without her.

“A lot of us lie. We pretend we are stopping to look at flowers, or an interesting tree,” she notes. “There is a shame among PH patients that you can’t keep up with anybody. We don’t know what is wrong, and we think we are fat or lazy or out of shape.”

In 2015, after rushing to the ER feeling faint and with chest pain, a cardiology resident requested she receive an echocardiogram. While not a definitive test, it provided doctors with the information they needed to identify pulmonary hypertension. Slaunwhite is now receiving treatment and has seen some modest improvements in her condition. She has also learned to conserve her energy and do everything in phases.

She would like Canadians to be more aware of the key symptoms of PH: unexplained shortness of breath, chest pain, fatigue, and light-headedness. She also encourages anyone who feels they are at risk to ask their healthcare providers for an echocardiogram. The earlier the diagnosis, the better the chances of getting prescribed a treatment that may slow the disease’s progression.

It is also important, she stresses, for Canadian doctors to have more say in the range of therapies PH patients have access to. While it is a difficult disease to live with, she is confident research now underway will lead to better outcomes for patients.

“I know it will be better for the next generation,” she says. Since the first targeted therapy, look how far we have come. I truly believe we are living longer.”

This story was created by Content Works, Postmedia’s commercial content division and Patient Diaries, on behalf of Innovative Medicines Canada (IMC) and an IMC member company.


Nigeria’s President Draws Criticism for Seeking Medical Care Abroad

2019 Elections, APC, News, Nigeria, PMB, Politics
President Muhammadu Buhari of Nigeria, who visited the White House last month, traveled to Britain this week to seek medical care for an undisclosed illness.CreditChip Somodevilla/Getty Images

ABUJA, Nigeria — President Muhammadu Buhari of Nigeria, who has urged politicians not to go abroad to seek medical care, has traveled to Britain on his fifth official trip to see a doctor there.

Mr. Buhari, 75, left for London on Monday for a four-day visit, setting off renewed concerns about his health. His trip also comes after three weeks of strikes by health care professionals who are calling for better working conditions and more funding.

For nearly two years, Mr. Buhari has been receiving treatment for an unspecified illness, which he has repeatedly refused to discuss.

The president is scheduled to return to Nigeria on Saturday, at which point he will have spent more than 170 days in London on official medical leave since becoming president in 2015.

Mr. Buhari recently declared his intention to run for a second term next year, but many people in Nigeria, including some former presidents, have called on him to step down because of concerns about his health.

After Mr. Buhari visited Washington to meet with President Trump late last month, he surprised reporters by not returning directly to Nigeria but instead making what his media team called a “technical stopover” in London. His aides later confirmed that he received medical treatment while in Britain.

Mr. Buhari’s aides have insisted that the president is healthy and capable of running for office again, claiming that his political enemies are exaggerating any health concerns to attack him.

In April 2016, months before his first medical trip to London, Mr. Buhari condemned the use of Nigerian resources on international medical expenses.

“While this administration will not deny anyone of his or her fundamental human rights, we will certainly not encourage expending Nigerian hard-earned resources on any government official seeking medical care abroad, when such can be handled in Nigeria,” Mr. Buhari said, according to a statement from the Health Ministry at the time.

During his campaign the president promised to end “medical tourism,” the practice of Nigerian politicians receiving medical treatment abroad even as most citizens are forced to rely on underfunded state medical services.

After what was reported to have been motorbike accident in January, the president’s son, Yusuf Buhari, was also treated abroad, although the president’s aides would not confirm where he was treated.

Nigerians see Mr. Buhari’s actions on health care as hypocritical, said Yemi Adamolekun, executive director of Enough Is Enough, a coalition of groups committed to building a culture of good government and public accountability in Nigeria. “As he’s getting a superior standard of health care for himself and his son, he’s done virtually nothing to invest in health care infrastructure and provision in Nigeria,” Ms. Adamolekun said.

This year Nigeria spent 3.9 percent of its budget on health care, a fraction of the 15 percent target set by the United Nations.

“Health professionals have been on strike now for three weeks, and they aren’t even talking about it,” Ms. Adamolekun said, referring to the government. “So we have poor health infrastructure, an exodus of qualified medical staff and now a strike with no conversation on how to fix it, yet our president jumps off to the U.K. for his own health.”

A nationwide strike of 72,000 public health care workers has crippled medical services in state hospitals across Nigeria, and many more are expected to join the protest in the next few days.

Biobelemoye Josiah, president of a coalition of unions involved in the strike, said that health care in Nigeria had suffered under Mr. Buhari’s administration. “There has long been medical tourism because our hospitals are grossly underfunded and that has continued,” Mr. Josiah said.+

Married to Their Smartphones (Oh, and to Each Other, Too) – Godinterest


Neither Joe or Willy are having an affair. But one of them has found a new object of affection, which has become a new companion and inspires a surprising amount of jealousy among her spouse – its the new relationship buster: the smartphone. “It helps me wake up,” she said.

“Experts say that smartphone use is meddling in our marriages in ways that are sometimes benign, and often forcing couples to address an ever more important question: At what point are we choosing to spend more time with our smartphones than with our spouses? (Christian Marriages, Too)”

Slowly, almost imperceptibly, the warmth and intimacy of marriages are ebbing away with a culture of dings, beeps and buzzes as most people manage everything from bank accounts to fantasy football teams on mobile phone devices.

It’s almost at pandemic levels now. Married or not, most of us sleep with our phones right next to us, pocket them as we go from place to place and think nothing of using them whether our partners are talking or not.

“Therapists say that when a marriage hits a rocky patch, they’ve seen one or both partners hide behind their phones.”

If you’re still reading this article then we can safely assume you know what we’re talking about. The US divorce rate hovers at 40 per cent, but that’s not the whole story. Many sound relationships are on life support. According to a survey by the National Opinion Research Centre.

You’d think this problem would exist only outside the church, wrong.

Pope Francis says most marriages today are ‘invalid’ because couples don’t go into them with the right intentions. This is a disaster for the Church much less society as a whole.

“When a Christian marriage unravels, many questions rise to the surface.”

It’s a shame that most of our relationships are in shambles. However, its time to put down the Smartphone and save your marriage. But how?

1. The first year of marriage is hard…really hard.

In an increasingly individualistic, “me” culture, weddings create a potentially dangerous situation for a newlywed Christian couple. If you are empty, broken, or insecure, and you believe a spouse is the silver bullet to your a problems…buckle up. The marriage will be bumpy-ride.

Don’t buy the wedding day lie. Marriage is not about you. Take this as a warning…the first year of marriage is difficult and you will never be able to enjoy the beauty of marriage if your spouse’s job is to complete you.

In Saudi Arabia, a newlywed husband filied for divorce after his wife stopped his attempts at consummation to reply to wedding messages. Whiles this is simply over the top. Yes, it can be partially about not texting on your wedding night!

We know marriage is hard, but walking away from it will have a lasting impact. Marry a Christian, yes. But maybe go even further and marry somebody with similar passions and dreams.

2. Prioritize Your Partner Over Your Phone

“Marital bliss is fictional, but marital happiness can be a reality.”

This is an obvious point, but it’s still one that most people tend to disregard. Sex is a gift from God. So explore It. Make no mistake…God created sex. But through the years, God’s people allowed Satan to steal this gift. Without a fight.

God created sex. If your married, here’s a challenge. Explore sex. Explore the fullness of it and pray for sexual intimacy with your spouse.

3. There is more than one person out there for you.

Marriage is a huge choice, and so is divorce. Soul mates are made…not born. We are not sure where this idea of a soul mate originated, but it is false. Maintaining a healthy relationship is more about commitment than perfection. Marriages are complex – they’re filled with compromise, balancing expectations and maintaining a foundation built on trust. A successful marriage is one where you serve your spouse and both of you serve God. You see the closer you get to God the closer you will be to each other.

“The success of marriage comes not in finding the “right” person, but in the ability of both partners to adjust to the real person they inevitably realize they married ” – (John Fischer).

To God be the glory forever. Amen!

The Business of Beauty x BLK/OPL relaunch in Nigeria + A GIVEAWAY — Ellapinkette || Beauty. Lifestyle.

Fashion, Uncategorized

Here’s what I think about the Business of Beauty in Nigeria. Plus there’s a giveaway in this one so do check it out. 💗

via The Business of Beauty x BLK/OPL relaunch in Nigeria + A GIVEAWAY — Ellapinkette || Beauty. Lifestyle.

Group donates $40 million medical supplies to Nigeria – Official

Africa, International Finance, international News, local news

Group donates $40 million medical supplies to Nigeria – Official

X-ray machine [Photo Credit: Wikipedia]

Vice-President, International Development of MedShare, Nell Diallo, disclosed this at the Nigeria Day at Atlanta to celebrate MedShare 20 years of strengthening healthcare in Nigeria.

Ms Diallo said: “MedShare has supported over 150 hospitals in Nigeria and improved maternal and child health, primary care and infectious disease control and prevention in Nigeria’s healthcare facilities.

“MedShare has donated more than $40 million in medical supplies and biomedical equipment to strengthen Nigeria’s health systems.

“Our Biomedical Equipment Training and Repair Service has donated more than 4,500 pieces of state-of-the-art biomedical equipment and more than 1,050 electric hospital beds.”

According to her, MedShare focuses on the 19 Northern states because there are more cases of inadequate medical access and healthcare facilities in those states.

All the 19 Northern state governments and the Federal Capital Territory have benefitted from the charity organisation while southern states beneficiaries include Abia, Anambra, Bayelsa, Delta, Osun, Oyo, Lagos, Enugu and Abia states.

The beneficiary hospitals are the Ahmadu Bello University, Enugu State University, Ladoke Akintola University of Technology, Ogbomosho, Lagos State University, and Jos University Teaching Hospitals as well as the Nigerian Navy Reference Hospitals.

“The flags that you see here, these are the countries we ship to. The country that has received the largest number and percentage of container is this one – Nigeria – and we ship to 100 countries.

“We receive our kinds of equipment and supplies; we do not accept any materials that cannot be used in the U.S. and we use the World Health Organisation’s standard for accepting donations to go to underserved countries.

“If you look at our warehouse here, it’s 40,000 square feet. We have another warehouse that’s 55,000 (square feet) in San Francisco and a 10,000 square feet warehouse in New Jersey.

“And at any given time, we have roughly $25 million worth of materials that’s ready to be shipped and we load containers every week.”

Charles Redding, President and Chief Executive Officer of MedShare, said he was very pleased that Nigeria was one of its long-standing partners that it looked to strengthen healthcare system around the world.

Mr Redding said: “And I say that with the recognition that Nigeria is a very large country thus the need is very large.

“So if we look at collectively, the impact we’ve had around the world with our shipment of medical supplies and equipment, Nigeria has received the most of those shipments.

“We can certainly estimate that we’ve touched the lives of over two million Nigerians over the last 20 years.

“So we are very proud of the partnership, the openness and the community to want to work with us and to support our ongoing efforts to improve healthcare facilities around the world.”

MedShare is a Medical Surplus Recovery Organisation that collects and distributes surplus medical products to qualified healthcare facilities in medically-underserved communities around the world on an on-going basis.

The Atlanta-based organisation, was named a ‘Four Star Charity’ for the 13th consecutive year by Charity Navigator.

This designation recognises the top one per cent of U.S. charities based on the criteria of transparency, organisational accountability, and measurable impact.

Mr Redding said MedShare, currently in its 20th year of operations, has collected over 207 million dollars worth of lifesaving medical supplies and equipment that has helped over 19 million patients in over 100 countries and territories.

The module for receiving $350,000 worth of medical supplies and equipment involves the sponsorship of $25,000 for shipping logistics.

Redding advised Nigerian state governors and other well-meaning individuals to take advantage of the opportunity to offset their health budgets and facilitate the equipping of Nigerian hospitals through MedShare.

The event was attended by Nigeria’s Consul-General in Atlanta, Kayode Laro; his wife, Innocent Iwejuo; Consul, Information and Economics, representatives of Nigerian community organisations in the U.S. and members of the Nigerian diaspora. (NAN)

Do we really only get a certain number of heartbeats in a lifetime? Here’s what science says


do-we-really-only-get-a-certain-number-of-heartbeats-in-a-lifetime-heres-what-science-says (1)Do we really only get a certain number of heartbeats in a lifetime? Here’s what science says

“I believe that every human has a finite number of heartbeats,” the famous quote goes. “I don’t intend to waste any of mine running around doing exercises.”

Contrary to what you might have heard, Neil Armstrong never said this. What’s more, he disagreed with it. But as much as it’s a misattribution, was Armstrong right to argue?

The simplest answer is ‘yes’. There is no strict tally for your ticker, keeping track of your pulse until you’ve used up your allocation of beats. So get out and exercise (after you’ve finished reading this article, of course).

But there is a more complex answer, one that suggests there is at least some kind of relationship between our heart rate and overall life expectancy.

In 2013, a team of Danish researchers published in the journal BMJ Heart 16 years of work on just under 5,200 men.

Of the roughly 2,800 individuals who provided a decent bank of medical data, just over a third had passed away by the end of the trial from various causes.

Matching the sample’s resting heart rates with the rate of mortality led the researchers to believe that higher pulses correlated with a greater chance of dying.

Those with between 71 to 80 beats per minute had a 51 percent greater chance of kicking the bucket during that period than those with a resting rate of under 50 beats. At 81 to 90 beats per minute, that risk was double. Over 90, and it tripled.

In case you’re thinking this was all about fitness or risk of cardiovascular disease, they took those factors into account. Even those who were in otherwise good physical condition seemed to be at risk, so once again, don’t use this an excuse to do avoid going for a run.

This sly nod to a relationship between life expectancy and heart rate extends past individual humans – other animals appear to obey a similar ballpark rule.

Check out this website to get some idea of what your pulse is like when compared with, say, a giraffe’s.

As we’ve seen, humans have on average a heart rate of around 60 to 70 beats per minute, give or take. We live roughly 70 or so years, giving us just over 2 billion beats all up.

Chickens have a faster heart rate of about 275 beats per minute, and live only 15 years. On balance, they also have about 2 billion beats.

We seem kind of lucky. A whale has around 20 beats per minute, and lives only slightly longer than us. It gets just under a billion heart beats.

An elephant? Try 30 beats per minute for around 70 years, giving roughly a billion as well.

The poor little skittish hamster has a rapid-fire pulse of 450 beats every minute, squeezed into three short years. That also adds up to a little under a billion.

This rule isn’t a hard and fast one, given differences of a few million here and there.

But if we look at it in rough orders of magnitude, there does seem to be a heart-wrenching link between living fast and dying young for all creatures great and small.

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Between 50 and death.

Facts, Words

Between 50 and death.
olderIt’s time to use the money you saved up. Use it and enjoy it.  Don’t just keep it for those who may have no notion of the sacrifices you made to get it. Warning: This is also a bad time for investments, even if it seems wonderful or fool-proof. They only bring problems and worries. This is a time for you to enjoy some peace and quiet.

Keep a healthy life, without great physical effort. Do moderate exercise (like walking every day), eat well and get your sleep. It’s easy to become sick, and it gets harder to remain healthy. That is why you need to keep yourself in good shape and be aware of your medical and physical needs. Keep in touch with your doctor, do tests even when you’re feeling well. Stay informed.

Don’t stress over the little things. You’ve already overcome so much in your life. You have good memories and bad ones, but the important thing is the present. Don’t let the past drag you down and don’t let the future frighten you. Feel good in the now. Small issues will soon be forgotten. Regardless of age, always keep love alive. Love yourself, your life, love your family, love your neighbor and remember: “A man is not old as long as he has intelligence and affection.” Be proud, both inside and out. Don’t stop going to your hair salon or barber, do your nails, go to the dermatologist and the dentist, keep your perfumes and creams well stocked. When you are well-maintained on the outside, it seeps in, making you feel proud and strong.

Don’t lose sight of fashion trends for your age, but keep your own sense of style. There’s nothing worse than an older person trying to wear the current fashion among youngsters. You’ve developed your own sense of what looks good on you – keep it and be proud of it. It’s part of who you are. ALWAYS stay up-to-date. Read newspapers, watch the news. Go online and read what people are saying. Make sure you have an active email account and try to use some of those social networks. You’ll be surprised what old friends you’ll meet. Respect the younger generation and their opinions. They may not have the same ideals as you, but they are the future, and will take the world in their direction. Give advice, not criticism, and try to remind them that yesterday’s wisdom still applies today.

Never use the phrase: “In my time.” Your time is now. As long as you’re alive, you are part of this time. Some people embrace their golden years, while others become bitter and surly. Life is too short to waste your days on the latter. Spend your time with positive, cheerful people, it’ll rub off on you and your days will seem that much better. Spending your time with bitter people will make you feel older and harder to be around. Don’t abandon your hobbies. If you don’t have any, make new ones. You can travel, hike, cook, read, dance. You can adopt a cat or a dog, grow a kitchen  garden, play cards, checkers, chess, dominoes, golf. Try to go. Get out of the house, meet people you haven’t seen in a while, experience something new (or something old). The important thing is to leave the house from time to time. Go to museums, go walk through a park. Get out there. Speak in courteous tones and try not to complain or criticize too much unless you really need to.

Try to accept situations as they are. Pain and discomfort go hand in hand with getting older. Try not to dwell on them but accept them as a part of the life. If you’ve been offended by someone – forgive them. If you’ve offended someone – apologize. Don’t drag around resentment with you. It only serves to make you sad and bitter. It doesn’t matter who was right. Someone once said: “Holding a grudge is like taking poison and expecting the other person to die.” Don’t take that poison. Forgive, forget and move on with your life. Laugh. Laugh away your worries  Remember, you are one of the lucky ones. You managed to have a life, a long one. Many never get to this age, never get to experience a full life. But you did.

May God be praised
Now is the time to be at peace and as happy as you can be! May you live long and prosper in good health.

Having A Drink A Day? It Could Be Killing You


drinkingPeople who follow government guidelines to have a drink or so a day could be drinking themselves into an early grave, researchers said Thursday.

 Any more than five drinks a week on average can take years off a person’s life, the new study of more than half a million people around the world shows.

That’s less than what’s recommended in many countries. For instance, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the American Heart Association both say men can safely drink up to two alcoholic drinks a day and women up to a drink a day.

A drink is defined as 12 ounces of beer, four ounces of wine, or 1.5 ounces of 80-proof spirits.

An international team of researchers looked at data from 600,000 people in 19 countries, who were asked about drinking habits dating back as long ago as 1964. They were followed for years afterward.

People who reported drinking more had higher rates of stroke, heart disease, deadly high blood pressure and fatal aortic aneurysms, the team reported in the Lancet medical journal.

“The paper estimates a 40-year-old drinking four units a day above the guidelines has roughly two years lower life expectancy,” said David Spiegelhalter, a risk expert at Britain’s University of Cambridge who was not involved in the study.

“This works out at about an hour per day. So it’s as if each unit above guidelines is taking, on average, about 15 minutes of life, about the same as a cigarette. Of course it’s up to individuals whether they think this is worthwhile.”

The most people can get away with and not raise their risk of early death was about five glasses of wine a week or the equivalent, the researchers found.

 Many people can drink far more than that in a single day. The CDC says more than 38 million American adults admit to binge-drinking once a week and guzzle an average of eight drinks per spree.

The CDC says that more than 2,000 Americans die each year from acute alcohol intoxication.

It’s no secret that alcohol can be bad for health in other ways, too. Drinking raises the risk of both cancer and heart disease, and one study suggested that drinking accounts for 15 percent of breast cancer cases.

The risk starts rising with as little as one drink a day on average.

 The American Institute for Cancer Research and the World Cancer Research Fund recommend in a joint reportthat people limit alcohol.

People who do not drink at all can have worse health, also — something that can confuse consumers and doctors alike. So the researchers, led by Cambridge University’s Dr. Angela Wood, used only information about people who were current drinkers “because ex-drinkers include people who might have abstained from alcohol owing to poor health itself, as well as those who have changed their habits to achieve a healthier lifestyle,” they wrote.

They found that the more people drank, the higher their risk of death compared with people who drank less.

If a 40-year-old man dropped his intake from two drinks a day to around five drinks a week, he could expect to add an average of a year or two to his life, the researchers projected.

What’s the safest drink? It might be wine, sipped a little at a time, the study suggested.

 “Exploratory analyses suggested that drinkers of beer or spirits, as well as binge drinkers, had the highest risk for all-cause mortality,” the researchers wrote.

“The key message of this research for public health is that, if you already drink alcohol, drinking less may help you live longer and lower your risk of several cardiovascular conditions,” Wood said in a statement.

“We should always remember that alcohol guidelines should act as a limit, not a target, and try to drink well below this threshold,” said Victoria Taylor, a senior dietitian at the British Heart Foundation.

The study’s likely to be controversial, said Jason Connor and Wayne Hall of the University of Queensland Centre for Youth Substance Abuse Research in Australia.

 “The drinking levels recommended in this study will no doubt be described as implausible and impracticable by the alcohol industry and other opponents of public health warnings on alcohol,” they wrote in a commentary.

“Nonetheless, the findings ought to be widely disseminated and they should provoke informed public and professional debate.”

Nigeria should improve investment in health – WHO DG

Africa, Phamaceuticals

The World Health Organisation, Director-General, Tedros Ghebreyesus, has advised Nigeria to speed up the investment of one per cent of its Consolidation Funds intended for basic health provision.

unitaidMr Ghebreyesus gave this advice at the second THISDAY media parley in Abuja on Thursday.

The event which was hosted by THISDAY newspaper, was co-organised by the Federal Ministry of Health, the World Bank, the World Health Organisation, UNICEF, UNFPA and USAID/ the Health Finance & Governance .

Mr Ghebreyesus said the organisation’s new five-year strategic plan sets a target to see one billion more people with access to Universal Health Coverage (UHC) by 2023.

According to him, more than half of the world’s population lack access to essential health services, “and almost 100 million people are pushed into extreme poverty every year because of the costs of paying for care out of their own pockets.”

He said implementing UHC means much more than just health insurance, “it means much more than just healthcare.”

“It means ensuring people can get quality health services, where and when they need them, without suffering financial hardship,” he said.

Isaac-AdewoleHe said UHC include the full spectrum of services from disease prevention and health promotion to treatment and care .

“There’s no single path to UHC. All countries must find their own way, in the context of their own social, political and economic circumstances,” he said.

“The foundation of a strong health system is based on primary healthcare, with an emphasis on disease prevention and health promotion.

“Such health systems do not only provide the best health outcomes; they’re also the best defence against outbreaks and other health emergencies. UHC and health security are truly two sides of the same coin,” he said.

Mr Ghebreyesus added that the launch of the Basic Healthcare Provision Fund represents an essential next step, “by helping to reduce the financial barriers people face when using health services.”

“The establishment of the BHCF provides a great opportunity to turn political commitment into tangible gains, and to rally partners and the private sector around revitalising primary healthcare as the foundation of achieving UHC,” he added .

Speaking at the event, the Minister of Health, Isaac Adewole, said the basic healthcare provision fund program will henceforth be known as “Huwe”.

Huwe, an Ebira (one of the over 500 languages in Nigeria) word means life.

The minister said the name was derived following an extensive crowd sourcing campaign, where ideas were sought from Nigerians on an easy to recall, short syllable word that depicts good health in a local language.

Mr Adewole said Huwe is complementary to existing efforts at the state and local government levels to mobilise resources for health.

He said this should in no way be seen as an excuse for states to underfund or de-prioritize funding for health.

According to the minister, the implementation of the first phase of the programme will commence in a couple of months in three states (Abia, Niger and Osun).

“We recognise that our future success depends on our ability to transform non-renewable (and often volatile) natural capital into productive wealth by investing more in human capital.”

Mr Adewole further disclosed that the Basic Healthcare Provision Fund will provide the platform to expand high impact and life saving interventions to all Nigerians.

He said the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA) and the State Primary Health Care Development Agency (SPHCDA) will assess on an annual basis the improvements in quality of care based on a set of metrics.

Mr Adewole added that the present administration has targeted the coverage and expansion for high impact reproductive maternal, neonatal, and child health (RMNCH) interventions to underserved populations so as to have an immediate impact on the health of women and children.

Also speaking at the event, the wife of the senate president, Toyin Saraki, said UHC will not only improve health, but reduce poverty, create jobs, drive economic growth, and promote gender equality.