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Time For Government To Guarantee Health Of Her Citizens

Nigerian News Update » Nigerian Newspapers
Leadership Newspaper
The state of the Nigerian Health Sector is still a far cry from what is obtainable in most parts of the world. Due to continued low budgetary allocation coupled with little or no implementation in this all critical sector of the economy, the situation has gone from bad to worse, with maternal mortality rate and death of children under the age of five years on the increase. Successive administrations have failed in their fulfillment of health policy and funding commitments.

While the proposed 2017 health budget saw a slight improvement from past trends, only 4.7 per cent of the national budget is set aside for the health sector,a poor improvement of 4.13 percent in 2016. At a media dialogue on The Challenge of the 2017 Budget, organised jointly by PACFaH (Partnership For Advocacy in Child and Family Health and DPRC, (Development Research and Project Centre), it was revealed that, while there is an improvement of about 80 per cent in terms of capital expenditure in 2017 compared to 2016, the reality remains the fact that the proposed health budget is cumulatively lower than the previous year due to the skyrocketing foreign exchange rate. The best Nigeria has done in health budget allocation was 5.95 per cent in 2012.

Despite federal government’s commitment to the Abuja Declaration of 2001 to allocate 15 per cent of its budget to health, sixteen years after, the budget is a whopping 73 per cent gap from the 15 percent benchmark.

For any economy to function properly, the health of the citizens must be guaranteed, hence the need for government to as a matter of urgency, consider an upward review of the 2017 allocation to health, while also putting into consideration the National Health Act (2014) and Abuja Declaration.
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