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Netherlands Delegation Visits Nigeria for Healthcare Business Collaboration

A healthcare collaboration between the Netherlands and Nigeria, organized by PharmAccess, the Netherlands Consulate, HFN, and NESG, aimed to strengthen ties in Life Sciences and Healthcare.

  • Apr 01, 2024

This past week marked a significant milestone in the partnership between the Kingdom of  Netherlands and Nigeria as a healthcare business collaboration—organized by PharmAccess, the Consulate of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, the Healthcare Federation of Nigeria (HFN), and the Nigerian Economic Summit Group (NESG)—brought together Dutch companies and their Nigerian counterparts to strengthen the existing ties between the two countries in the fields of Life Sciences and Healthcare.

The three-day event which kicked off in Lagos on Tuesday the 27th of March and climaxed in the nation’s capital, Abuja on Thursday the 29th of March, hosted the Vice Minister for Public Health of the Netherlands, Marjolijn Sonnema; the Ambassador of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Abuja, Mr Wouter Plomp; the National Coordinator, Presidential “Unlocking Healthcare Value-Chain Initiative”, Dr. Abdu Muktar; the Managing Director, Nigerian Sovereign Investment Authority, Advanced Medical Services Limited, Dr. Tolulope Adewale; amongst others.

Others present included the Consul General of the Netherlands in Lagos, Michel Deelen; the President of the HFN, Dr. Pamela Ajayi; the Country Director of PharmAccess, Mrs. Njide Ndili, the Founder AiDx Medical B.V, Mr. Temitope Agbana; the Executive Director, Emzor Pharmaceuticals, Mrs. Uzoma Ezeoke, and many more. The visiting trade mission companies included AidX Medical B.V., AshCure Pharma B.V., Healthy Entrepreneurs, HemoClear, KNCV Tuberculosis Foundation, Platos Health B.V., PSI Nigeria, Telecom, WCC Group, and Aidsfonds. Also in attendance were CEOs of hospital groups, representatives from NGOs, public sectors, and private sectors amongst several other business leaders.

In her speech, the Dutch Vice Minister for Public Health, Marjolijn Sonnema emphasized the critical need for a global perspective on healthcare, transcending traditional borders that confine the scope of public health efforts. She said: “In our interconnected world, borders only matter for people and products, but not for diseases. We must build resilience. We must build the world’s capacity to prevent, detect, and respond to all infectious disease outbreaks. We must look at healthcare on a global stage.”

Giving his remarks, the National Coordinator, Presidential “Unlocking Healthcare Value-Chain Initiative” Dr. Abdu Mukhtar, expressed his commitment to fostering an enabling environment for Nigeria’s public and private sectors. “We are doing what is necessary to provide the enabling environment for the public & private sectors to thrive to ensure that we produce the things critical for the health & well-being of Nigerians while creating economic value & jobs,” he said.

In his welcome address, the Ambassador of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Abuja, Mr Wouter Plomp, highlighted the critical need for quality inputs in the Nigerian healthcare sector. He underscored the importance of addressing healthcare requirements at both primary healthcare centers, serving the majority of Nigeria’s over 200 million people, and specialized facilities focusing on diagnostics, prevention, and pharmaceuticals.

Acknowledging the Nigerian government’s ambition to curtail outbound medical tourism and enhance investment in the domestic healthcare sector, Ambassador Plomp stated that meeting these goals would necessitate a substantial boost in both quantity and quality. With confidence, he declared that the Netherlands is ready to embrace and contribute to this challenge.

In her goodwill message, the President of the Healthcare Federation of Nigeria (HFN), Dr. Pamela Ajayi, emphasized the significance of focusing on the opportunities within Nigeria’s Healthcare Value Chain, with a special emphasis on the private sector, commending the Dutch Consulate for their foresight in recognizing investment prospects in Nigeria, especially during a period when other investors are withdrawing.

Giving a presentation, the Vice President of the HFN and Country Director of PharmAccess, Mrs Njide Ndili in her discourse on Digital Transformative Technologies for Universal Health Coverage (UHC), outlined a vision of immense possibilities arising from the interconnectivity of billions of people through mobile devices. She emphasized the transformative potential in this vast network, characterized by unprecedented processing power, storage capacity, and access to knowledge. This
interconnected landscape, according to Ndili, presents virtually unlimited opportunities for leveraging digital technologies to advance healthcare.

During the event, PharmAccess, the implementation partner for the Dutch Consulate in Healthcare aid from the Netherlands government to Nigeria, facilitated an NGO roundtable. The goal of this roundtable was to align developmental partners based on their strengths to support the government’s initiative. Mrs. Ndili, Country Director of PharmAccess, stressed the importance of collaboration. She highlighted the necessity of reducing redundant structures and horizontalizing
vertical programs to achieve a unified Universal Health Coverage (UHC) objective.

The event featured round table discussion on trends and opportunities in the Nigerian Healthcare Industry, matchmaking sessions between Dutch and Nigerian companies, insightful panel discussions, and visits to key healthcare facilities including the NSIA-LUTH Cancer Centre, University of Lagos state, and Duchess Hospital.

Left to right: Anja Roest- Policy Officer, Netherlands Ministry of Health ,Mrs. Marjolijn Sonnema, Netherlands Vice-Minister for Public Health, Njide Ndili, Country Director, Pharm Access Nigeria, Jurgen Bartelink, the Deputy Ambassador of the Netherlands to Nigeria, Uzodinma Kenneth, Medical Credit Fund