The 2017 Pre-Budget Meeting with Directors of Health Planning, Research, Statistics and Finance from Kaduna, Niger, Nasarawa and Oyo States held in Lagos last week. The states called for transparency in the budget and public finance management towards enabling the country achieve its SDG 3 targets.
Stakeholders in child and family health services have called for the review of the budget allocation and prompt the release of funds for health to ensure improved healthcare services at the primary level and also to avert the death of approximately one million women and children.
Stating their displeasure over the continued deaths of Nigeria children and women, they pleaded with the three tiers of government to increase the allocation of the health Budget in 2017 as well as comply with the statutory allocation for Basic Healthcare Provision Fund, BHCPF, as written in the National Health Act 2014.
Remi Adeseun, the Programe Director (Strategy), Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria and Partnership for Advocacy in Child and Family Health, PACFaH, speaking during the meeting said that one of the major reason of the deaths of women and children in Nigeria is inadequate funding which can be prevented.
“In Nigeria, 111 women and girls die daily from pregnancy and childbirth related causes due to high unintended pregnancies and low use of contraceptives. Increased uptake of modern family planning services will contribute to the reduction of about 33 percent of MMR, 25 percent under-5 mortality. About 1.6 million unintended pregnancies will be averted yearly as well as 400, 000 infant deaths and 700, 000 child deaths. One in five Nigerian children that dies before their 5th birthday is due to a vaccine preventable disease. Vaccination as a health intervention has saved millions of Nigerian children. We can keep saving the lives of our children instead of burying them through inadequate funding for routine immunization in the country. The government needs to create specific budget lines for procurement of essential commodities, timely release of allocated funds, capacity building for front-line health workers on the proper use of the recommended drugs.” said Adeseun.
Mr. Sunday Okoronkwo who is the Project Director, Civil Society-Scaling Up Nutrition In Nigeria called for creation of specific budget line for nutrition in the Ministries of Health, Agriculture, Education and other related sector ministries and implementation of National Strategic Plan of Action for Nutrition. His reason for this was that malnutrition is the main reason for deaths of a lot of Nigerian children.