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Medical experts flay zero allocation for health research

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Consultant of Obstetrics and Gynaecology (O&G) at the University of Jos (UNIJOS), Prof. Innocent Ujah, has condemned the zero allocation for research projects, especially in the health sector, in the country.

The former director-general of Nigerian Institute of Medical Research (NIMR) stated this at a conference organised by the Medical and Dental Consultants’ Association of Nigeria (MDCAN) in Jos, Plateau State, at the weekend.

He was the guest speaker of the event themed ‘Research: A Veritable Tool in Advancing Health Care Systems in Nigeria’.

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“I have always said that why fund is not made available for research in Nigeria may be that our policy-makers do not appreciate research, which drives development.

“Look at the handset we are using today. It is due to full research. Previously, we were using analog. Now, we have gone digital. It doesn’t just come by prayers. We believe that we should advocate to policy-makers, to government and even philanthropists to set aside some funds for research,” he said.

Ujah alluded to the Abuja Declaration of 2001, which mandated every government to allocate at least 15 per cent of its budget to health. “But the situation here today is the Federal Government budgets about four per cent for health.”

On his part, President of the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA), Dr. Francis Faduyile, urged Nigerians to go back to the basis, if they must get it right.

“So, to take care of the people in this country, especially in relationship with the very little finding that we have, we need to go to the primary healthcare level,” he suggested.

President of MDCAN, Prof. Ngim E. Ngim, in his welcome address, expressed hope that governments at various levels would find the recommendations of the meeting useful for immediate implementation to improve healthcare services to all Nigerians.

Chairman, Local Organising Committee (LOC) of the 11th Biennial Delegates’ Meeting of MDCAN, Prof. Kenneth Ozoilo, thanked all and sundry for gracing the occasion and making it successful.


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