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Civil Society Organisations Demand 1% Consolidated Revenue Fund for Nigeria's Health Sector - PACFaH

On the cool evening of Friday, October 14, 2016 at the tranquil Blu cabana Restaurant Abuja I was in discussion and deliberation about the future of health care in Nigeria.

It was like a state of emergency and believe me, Nigeria's health care indexes is at that level right now. Convened by a coalition of seven (7) Civil Society Organisations in a project known as PACFaH which means Partnership for Advocacy in Child and Family Health in Nigeria, the searchlight was on ensuring that the media understand why budget of healthcare has to be scaled up urgently started from the soon-to-be zoomed in 2017 budget.

PACFaH as a social accountability investment project implemented through the partnership of building indigenious CSOs had their partners explain their areas of work and the risk that need attention.

These facts were presented by experts from Association for the Advancement of Family Planning in Nigeria (AAFP) focused on Family planning, Civil SOciety Initiative for Scaling-up Nutition in Nigeria (CS-SUNN) focused on Nutition, Community Health and Research Initiative (CHRI) focused on routine immunization, Federation of Muslim Women Organisations of Nigeria (FOMWAN) focused on mobilizing member to access all opportunities, Health Reform Foundation of Nigeria (HERFON) focused on mobilization for opportunities, budget tracking and data mobilization for evidence-based advocacy, Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria (PSN) focused on Child Killer diseases. The Development Research and Projects Centre (DRPC)  is the grantee in charge of coordinating and providing techical and organisational support for the sub-grantees mentioned above.

It was evident that the health budget has not been implemented effectively in the past years and none was implemented at all for 2015-2016 thus the decay in healthcare facilities but with the presentation of the facts and figures at this event, the case for increase of Public Health sector funding have come to the front burner and must be addressed by Nigerian government.

With Nigeria still at over 10% of global burden of maternal deaths, which puts figures at 576 maternal deaths occuring in every 100, 000 live birth it goes further to show that the figure from 2014 with 2.1 million under-5 year old babies dying yearly due to preventable diseases mostly malaria, pneumonia and diarrhea is increasing alarmingly without any coordinated action.

The government of Nigeria must consider the healthcare funding as committed in instruments such as Abuja declaration in April 2001 for 15% annual budget allocated to health and many others especially the National Health Act of 2014 that stipulates that 1% of the consolidated Revenue Fund (CRF) for the health sector.

This 1% will go a long way while we gradually step up to the 15% annual budget within the next 10 years or thereabout. The Sustainable Development Goals with health as Goal 3 must be adhered and concerted effort made to improve access to quality healthcare. 

My major concern is also the depth with which we hand over the health of our nation to foreign donors and solicit that we scale up investment to safe guard the health of our nation, especially women, children and our teeming population of youth people not leaving out men rather than depend heavily on other countries.

Both national and state governments must implement their health budgets judiciously if we must stop the rampant loss of lives to malnutrition and other avoidable health challenges.

Boss, I have been invited to yet another event Abuja Health Walk holding today, not forgetting the launch trend I told you about which was convened by the #MakeNaijaStronger team at ONE dot ORG

More details are available at www.pacfahnigeria.org

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