By Christiana Ekpa
The Senate on Wednesday called for the implementation of the one per cent clause in the 2014 National Health Act, aimed at ensuring that one percent of the Consolidated Revenue Fund is devoted to restoring and revitalizing the nation’s health sector.
The demand came during the consideration of a motion sponsored by Senator Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso (Kano Central), on the alarming upsurge of Malaria in the country, with the Senate observing that 97% of Nigeria is at risk of malaria while the disease accounts for 60 percent of out-patient visits and 30 percent of hospitalizations of children under 5-years old around the country.
In his comments, Senate President, Abubakar Bukola Saraki, stated that the motion raised by Senator Kwankwaso was genuine and germane, and that the malaria issue could be addressed with the implementation of the 2014 National Health Act.
“The issue of malaria and primary healthcare across the nation goes back to the issue of funding. We have a law that has been in place since 2014 which was passed by this chamber and up till now has not been implemented,” the Senate President said, “We must also work to ensure that the Appropriations Committee works to ensure that we meet the requirements of the National Health Act in the 2018 budget.”
The Senate also called for the enforcement of the African Union’s 2001 Abuja Declaration that is aimed at ensuring increased funding for the Federal Ministry of Health, as well as ensuring the full implementation of the National Health Act.
Other prayers in the Motion urged the Federal Ministry of Health to effectively partner with states, local government authorities and development partners to scale up and streamline the coordination of the integrated vector management and control programmes across Nigeria.