APC states to earmark 15% budgetary allocation for healthcare
•Experts advise govt on COVID-19 vaccine production
•Registrar laments the dearth of environmental officers
The 23 All Progressives Congress (APC)-controlled states have agreed to set aside 15 per cent of their annual allocation to boost health care services.
The decision was endorsed by the states’ commissioners for health and executive secretaries of Primary Health Care Development Agencies (PHCDAs)/boards during a parley at the weekend in Ilorin, Kwara State, themed ‘Improving Primary Health Care Delivery in APC States’.
A communiqué jointly signed by the Kwara State Commissioner for Health, Raji Razaq, and the Director-General of Progressive Governors’ Forum (PGF), Salihu Lukman, explained that the measure was in tandem with the Federal Government’s declaration of 15 per cent annual allocation and release to health care services.
BUT stakeholders have urged the Federal Government to seek more options on the Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccines production and distribution, to bring more choices of safe vaccines to Nigerians.
According to them, this would also ensure that Nigeria meets its target of vaccinating 30 per cent of its citizens against the virus this year.
The stakeholders, drawn from the media, academic, and health sector, spoke at a workshop organised by Diplomats Extra Magazine-themed ‘COVID-19 Vaccines on Ensuring Fair and Equitable Distribution’ at the weekend, in Abuja.
A communiqué issued at the end of the dialogue signed by the convener, Raphael Oni, stressed the need for local production of COVID-19 vaccines in partnership with the Chinese government.
IN the same vein, the Center for Citizens with Disabilities (CCD) has called on the Federal Government to make a deliberate effort to remove structural, physical, and communication barriers at vaccine centres to enable its members to gain access.
CCD Executive Director, David Anyaele, who made this call weekend at a public presentation of a report on Access to COVID-19 Vaccine Among Persons with Disabilities (PWDs) in Abuja, advised the authorities to enforce public queue priority for PWDs at the vaccine centres.
MEANWHILE, the Registrar of Environmental Health Officers Registration Council of Nigeria (EHORECON), Mr. Yakubu Muhammad, has lamented the dwindling number of practising environmental officers, especially as the country battles diseases like cholera and COVID-19.
Muhammad registered his displeasure over the development in a chat with journalists after a Capacity Building For Small Scale food Vendors on Hygiene Application in Food Processing From Farm to Table, organized by the Federal Ministry of Environment and Mukhtar Ahmed of the House of Representatives.
He then urged the governments to recruit more officers to combat the spread of COVID-19, cholera and other diseases ravaging the country.