By Tobias Lengnan Dapam
The National Advocates for Health (NA4H), has called on President Muhammadu Buhari to prioritise health as a political agenda and sustain its funding in the midst of Coronavirus Pandemic and crash global oil price.
A statement issued yesterday by Professor O. A. Ladipo, Chairman, NA4H said “the evidence of its adverse impact on the Health sector, banking sector, economy, the social distancing and lock down of regions are strong justifications for the Government of Nigeria to see that health should be prioritized.
The group also commended the effort of the federal government and all its agencies in speedy response to the Coronavirus pandemic through intensifying screening, surveillance at the borders, setting up isolation centres for quarantine, release of emergency funds and establishing of the presidential task-force on Coronavirus control.”
The statement said despite the above effort of Federal Government, “we note the non-compliance with Abuja declaration of Allocation of 15% of National revenue to the Health sector, gross under-funding of the health sector which is responsible for our dysfunctional health care system, medical tourism and human capital flight to greener pastures resulting in inequitable distribution of Health manpower and unacceptable preventable mortality and morbidity.
“Currently, also, governments at national and sub-national levels are worsening the inequality by under-funding public services such as Education, Health, Water and Environmental Sanitation.”
Meanwhile, the group chaired by Ladipo has observed that the Basic Health Care Provision Fund (BHCPF) of N44.50 billion should be captured in the Part C of the 2020 approved budget ‘Statutory Transfers’ as against in 2019 that was captured as part of service wide vote. “This is good news as it will be more protected when there is budget paucity.
“About N46 Billion is allocated and approved for the Health Capital Budget with bulk of it committed to Immunization (about N32 billion. This is a testimony we have prioritise the health and wellbeing of our children.
“N1.5 billion for Expanded Midwives Service Scheme, N729 Million for Cancer Funds and N1.2 Billion for Family Planning Procurement which is an international commitment to FP2020.”