By Victoria Onehi
Health Advocates under the aegis of Coalition of Civil Society groups working in the health sector are asking for increment in the proposed 2023 health budget describing the 5.7% as grossly inadequate in view of Nigeria’s 200 million population.
The group also demanded for inclusion of family planning commodities funding describing the failure of government to fund family planning in 2022 and the N20 million proposed in the 2023 budget as reckless.
Led by Honourable Muhammad Usman, the Advocates who included the Partnership for Advocacy in Child and family health at Scale(PacFah@Scale) Nigeria Health Watch, USAID, Vaccine Alliance, and the Legislative advocacy initiatives for sustainable development and the Health Advocates for Health, therefore called on the National Assembly to review the proposed health budget to ensure adequate funding in the final approved budget.
Speaking at a Press Conference held in Abuja yesterday, Usman said in a situation where the current proposed budget is less than N6,000 per Nigerian is a very low investment for Nigeria.
” We call on the government to also increase the current 5.7% to the 15% Abuja declaration and maintain the 1% basic healthcare provision funds as a statutory transfer as provided in the National Health Act.
“We ask the Federal Government to fullfil it’s commitment to provide 1% of Nigerias’ budget to family planning, improve family planning services through contraceptive use, interventions and counterpart funding.”Usman said.
Speaking further on why the government need to provide more funding for family planning, the Sarkin Yakin Gagi Sokoto , Alhaji Sani Umar Jabbi said statistics show that Nigeria contribute 10 percent to maternal mortality hence, government should provide more funding to help reduce this number.
” Presently, Family Planning commodities are funded by donor agencies Government must begin to fund family planning products so more women will be able to access the contraceptive in hospitals and clinics.This will reduce Nigerias burden of maternal mortality.” Jabbi said.