NASS laments nation’s high mortality indices
The National Assembly has lamented that the nation’s mortality indices are becoming alarmingly high despite huge resources set aside for the health sector over the years by government at all levels.
The lawmakers said priority should be given to health security in the country on the template of Universal Health Coverage, noting that the task cannot be achieved through the exclusive National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) being currently run by the Federal Government.
At a media briefing yesterday, chairmen of the health committee in both chambers of the National Assembly, said the issues would be the main point of discussion at the fourth annual legislative summit on health slated for next week in Abuja.
The Chairman, Senate Committee on Health, Ibrahim Oloriegbe (APC Kwara Central), said actions by the legislature had become critically necessary in view of the worrisome statistics.
“For instance, the National Demographic Health Survey (2018) findings revealed that in the seven years preceding the survey, infant mortality rate was 67 deaths per 1,000 live births; under-5 mortality was 132 deaths per 1,000 live births and maternal mortality ratio was 512 deaths per 100,000 live births,” Oloriegbe said.
To address the problem, health security should be prioritised and the exclusive model of NHIS being practised must be made inclusive by expanding its cope beyond the 5 per cent of the population to appreciable percentage of health care deliveries.
“Although the country is making attempts to take giant strides in its pursuit of Universal Health Coverage (UHC), these efforts and whatever achievements have been recorded could be quickly eroded if health security is not prioritized.
“This is obvious in the COVID-19 pandemic and other disease outbreaks that have greatly impacted the health system negatively,” the lawmaker said.
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