Posted by Mayowa Okekale, Abuja | 22 November 2017 | 1,608 times
National Association of Community Health Practitioners of Nigeria (NACHPCN) and Partnership for Advocacy in Child and Family Health (PacFAH) have decried the low budgetary allocation of 3.9 per cent proposed for the health sector in the 2018 budget, saying it is not good for Nigerians.
Addressing a press conference on “Understanding the falling 2018 Health budget” in Abuja on Monday, Acting Secretary General of NACHPCN, Comrade Ibama Asiton AS, stressed that the allocation was “the lowest share of national budget to the health sector in recent times which is not good for the Nigerians.”
Speaking further, he said that the proposed 3.9 per cent for health is not in fulfilment of what is contained in the Abuja Declaration signed in 2001 together with other African leaders which promised to allocate not less than 15 per cent of total budget to health.
He also stressed that the health budget will not provide enough resources to consolidate the good work of the primary health care providers working within the policy, adding that the budget will not also enable the Minister of Health to keep to his promise of revitalising 10,000 PHCs.
On his part, the association’s North Vice President, Mr Yakubu Zakshi, regretted that while the overall national budget has grown by 92 per cent from N4.49 trillion in 2015 to N8.61 trillion in 2018, the same cannot be said of the Health budget which has only grown small – 14 per cent.
Yakubu added that it is quite unfortunate that the prosperity of the country reflected in the growth of the national budget has not yet been fully felt in the health sector. According to him, “Government must fulfil its promises and health should be given priority. Health affects everybody. Health should be the bedrock of other sectors. It is when our health is okay that we can utilise the resources provided by government.”
While comparing the allocation to the health sector in Republic of Ghana which is 7.1 per cent, he said: “We are trailing far behind Ghana and it’s a terrible situation if Nigerian government cannot honour its policy commitments to the health sector in general and the case of child and family health.”
They however called on the National Assembly and relevant stakeholders to look into the issue and facilitate increment of the budgetary allocation for Nigeria’s health system.
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