Nigeria Health Experts Demand 15% Budgetary Allocation to Healthcare

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Health experts at the launch of the “Make Naija Stronger” campaign recently in Lagos, rendered the state of healthcare in Nigeria in dire straits and unanimously agreed that the country has no public health system.
The “Make Naija Strong” is an initiative of the anti-poverty organisations and other partners such as the Africa Health, Human and Social Development (Afri-Dev) to demand that the Nigerian government fulfils its promise of allocating 15 per cent of its budget to health during the Abuja Declaration 15 years ago.
On April 25, 2001 governments of African countries met in Abuja, Nigeriaand agreed to increase health funding to 15 per cent of their national budgets.
According to ‘One Campaign’, an international advocacy organization fighting extreme poverty and preventable disease, the programme is also intended to make government allocate adequate funding toward the actualisation of the 2014 National Health Act.
In the yet-to-be-signed 2016 budget, only a paltry 4.3 per cent of the total amount was allotted to health.
Mr. Sankore Rotim, coordinator of Afri-Development then gave a series of statistics that places Nigeria at the lowest rung of healthcare indices in Africa and the world.
“Nigeria has the fourth highest maternal mortality ratio in Africa,” he said. “In fact, we are worse than South Sudan and Somalia. There is another way to look at the situation we are in. Nigeria is third in maternal death risk in Africa. We are only better than Sierra Leone and Chad. Almost a million children under five die every year from preventable diseases.”
According to him, a situation where the per capital investment in health in Nigeria is $31 dollar compared to between $1,500 to $2,000 per capital investment in the West does not bode well for the country. He said there was a 20-year gap in life expectancy between Nigerian and the developed countries.
Similarly, the Chairman Board of Trustees of Health Reform Foundation of Nigeria (HERFONHERFON) emphasized that  in order to roll back years of decay in the healthcare system the government needed to urgently begin the implementation of the National Health Care Act of 2014.
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