Nigeria still grappling with poor health indices, says CSO
The Civil Society in Malaria Control, Immunisation and Nutrition (ACOMIN) has lamented that 62 years after the nation’s independence from British colonial rule, the country is still grappling with low funding for the health sector and poor health indices.
The group noted that Nigeria at 62 is another opportunity to start afresh and reposition the nation’s healthcare system to provide quality, accessible and affordable healthcare services for Nigerians.
Speaking in an interview with The Guardian yesterday in Abuja, ACOMIN National Coordinator, Mr. Ayo Ipinmoye, said: “Yes there is a lot to celebrate and a lot to cry about. The major problem now is that the little gains we have made are being eroded by the increasing migration of our skilled healthcare workforce. I see Nigeria at 62 as another opportunity to recalibrate; we need to start afresh. Nigeria at 62 should be a time of retrospect to find out where we have done well and what we need to do better going forward.”
What do we want to see in terms of our health for all Nigerians, access to health, provision of up-to-date functional health facilities and funding for research.”
He noted that many health care workers were leaving the country for greener pastures because the facilities for them to work with were not available.
Ipinmoye, who decried the poor funding of the health sector, urged the Federal Government to make a commitment to implement the 2001 Abuja Declaration by allocating 15 per cent of our annual budget for the health sector so that we can begin to generate wealth because health is wealth.
“The independence anniversary provides an opportunity for the government to make a commitment to implement the 2001 Abuja Declaration of allocating 15 per cent of our annual budget for the health sector so that we can begin to generate wealth because health is wealth. We need to agree on how to build a country of our dream where the disadvantaged and the vulnerable have access to health services. We need to see health as a human right and not a privilege.
“The Abuja declaration should go from declaration to being a reality. Our health system today is not functional and not the health care system of our dream, even the country itself is passing through challenges and it is difficult for the health systems to be running well when the country itself is not running well.
“However, we can reposition our health system to be an index for growth and development. We need to reverse our poor health indices through collaboration between government and partners like the civil society and the private sector,” he said.