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Stakeholders seek adequate budgetary allocation, improved capacity for sector



Stakeholders in the health sector have stressed the need for the federal and state government to increase budgetary allocation for the health sector in order to address the challenges affecting the sector.The players, who gathered in Abuja at a capacity building workshop for policy makers in the country’s health sector, organised by Leadership Enhancement and Accountability for the Public Sector (LEAPS) said unless the capacity gap in the sector, especially for top manager is bridged, achieving desired health sector goals would remain elusive in the country.

The stakeholders, including Director of programme, Healthcare Leadership Academy, Dr. Alero Ajayi, LEAPS Programme Manager, Dr. Omoh Duze, and Director of planning, Research and Statistics, Nassarawa Ministry of health, Ibrahim Hassan, noted that professionals in the health sector must position themselves to make a case on why the sector should be given more allocation.

Speaking at the event, where over 30 top health professionals from three states of the federation were trained, Ajayi stated that while the budget for the sector is low, releasing budgeted fund had remained a major challenge.“The finance department should understand why we need more allocation. I wish allocation to the health sector is increased but more importantly I wish what is allocated for the sector get to the sector,” she said

Duze noted that the poor state of the health sector and rising figure of death resulting from health challenges such as maternal death must force government to increase allocation and improve capacity in the sector. According to her, the health professionals need to provide a holistic design so that the ministry of finance and planning would have a clear picture of what they want to do.

With the training, Duze expected senior management of health governance agencies to take informed decisions that would impact the sector positively. She noted that the workshop would build leadership and executive capacity of administrators and policymakers of health governance institutions.“We have health experts from Kaduna, Nassarawa and Niger to partake in this programme to further develop these critical governance skills.

Duze said the training would also further the knowledge, skills, and abilities of the decisions makers to drive forward improvements, innovations, and efficiency in the sector.Also speaking at the event, Hassan said funding in the health sector remained a recurrent problem, adding that though there was improvement but funding remained the key challenge affecting the growth.

According to him, one of the problems the sector has is that people who are not prepared are the one leading the sector.“No matter how you inject resources into the sector, if the people there are not properly trained could be aggravating the problem in the sector. Leadership training like this is very important,” Hassan said.

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