The D-8 Organization for Economic Cooperation (Developing-8) has reaffirmed its commitment to prioritize increasing trade by 10 percent annually among its member countries, to achieve its universal health coverage targets by 2025.
The D-8 was established in accordance with the Istanbul Declaration at the Heads of State/Governments summit as an organization for development cooperation among Bangladesh, Egypt, Indonesia, Iran, Malaysia, Nigeria, Pakistan, and Turkey.
Dr. Ado Muhammad, Global Programme Director of D-8 HSP, disclosed during a media briefing on the side lines of the official inauguration ceremony of the D-8 office in Abuja.
According to him, prioritizing trade had become important for the organization to achieve its universal health coverage among its member countries in five years.
“We will take member countries through the journey towards universal health coverage, we also want to support them to encourage health systems trade.
“The D-8 countries have a combined economy of $4.5trillion and 1.1billion people, but the trade between them just translates to about $100billion, which is inadequate.
He said that through such means the organization could derive a huge chunk of the $4.5 trillion economy, to create employment and achieve growth in health systems among the member states.
Muhammad said: “We will be supporting member countries through innovative sustainable financing and resource mobilization.
“We know that funding from government will not be adequate to address health system needs, so as an organization we intend to support all our member states to bridge the gap.
He explained that the organization would also focus on pharmaceuticals and ICT to improve the economies of the member countries.
“Nigeria is the host country for the secretariat, but this is a D-8 programme owned by all member states.
“We are happy and pleased that the Federal Government has deemed it fit to provide us an edifice to discharge these obligations, in terms of counterpart contributions to the programme implementation.
“We see this as key to start the social protection programme and we believe that as we commence operations, we will support member states through resource mobilization,” he added.
Muhammad said that such support would be through the use of evidence-based data for improvement of programmes performance, impact and result.
“Based on COVID-19, we organized virtual meetings with member states and then, mobilized resources in terms of equipment, drugs and pharmaceuticals to supporting them and thereby, actualize the D-8 mandate,” he said.