"Health funding best way to revamp Nigeria’s economy"
Team Leader, Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria-Partnership Advocacy in Child and Family Health, PSN-PACFaH, National Advocacy Group, Lady Christie Uche, has said that adequate funding of the health sector was the best buy in revamping the Nigerian economy.
She made the assertion when she led members of the team on a visit to the Director of Finance/Accounts, Federal Ministry of Health, Anthony Hassan, in Abuja, as part of its implementing health budget advocacy.
According to her, it is only the healthy that can be productive hence the need for increased national and sub-national health budget as being advocated by the group.
She said, the project which is funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is working in 20 communities in collaboration with Civil Society Organisations and Faith Based Organisations including the Paul’s Mission Incorporated; Sam Empowerment Foundation and Federation of Muslim Women in Nigeria etc.
The team leader said the group’s advocacy to government and relevant stakeholders was focused on seeking proper management of childhood pneumonia and diarrhoea in Nigeria, also made case for increased health fund in 2017 and beyond.
She decried health allocation decline from 5.7% of national budget in 2015 to 4.13 of the 2016 national budget, noting that 2001 Abuja Declaration of allocating at least 15% of the national budget to the health sector was yet to be met.
According to her: “National Health Act 2014 that stipulate the setting aside of at least 1% of the Consolidated Revenue Fund for the basic healthcare provision package was not captured in the 2016 national budget.”
The group demanded among others, for support of the mainstreaming (prioritisation) of pneumonia and diarrhoea, just as malaria and TB and HIV/AIDS, in the national health planning.
They called on the director to support the funding, allocation and releases of funds for the management of childhood pneumonia and diarrhoea at the ministry.
PSN-PACFaH solicited the ministry’s support for the inclusion of the at least 1% of the Consolidated Revenue Fund stipulated by the National Health Act in the 2017 health budget as well as 15% allocation to health sector.