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Nigerians petition Saraki on primary health care development


President of the Senate, Dr. Bukola Saraki PHOTO: TWITTER/BUKOLA SARAKI

President of the Senate, Dr. Bukola Saraki PHOTO: TWITTER/BUKOLA SARAKI

Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki, has been petitioned by Nigerians on issues regarding development of primary health care system, implementation and transparency challenges in the health sector, especially in rural communities where they lament low or no access to healthcare facilities and provisions.

The petition, which was presented by lawmaker of the Lagos State House of Assembly, Surulere Constituency; Nollywood actor, Desmond Elliot, to the Senate President on behalf of Nigerians, at a town hall meeting in Abuja, is imploring the government to implement the Strategic Health Development Framework agreement to ensure that 15 per cent of total national budget is allocated to health sector development.

The petition is also asking that health sector from state and local levels should dedicate 15 per cent of their budget to promote, improve and implement a re-emerging and rebirth of the sector.

The petition, signed by Nigerians along with heaps of postcards and that of citizens who signed via online, is also asking the government to invest one per cent of the consolidated revenue fund into the growth and development of the primary health care scheme, which was stated as important to the wealth, growth and development of the nation.

It would be recalled that African leaders, at a special session of the OAU in Abuja in 2001 in consideration of the dismal situation of health care delivery with its poor level of funding recommended the allocation of 15 per cent of total national budget to health. Alhough Nigeria committed to meeting this declaration between 1999 and 2008, the average allocation to the health sector was recorded to be about five per cent of the national budget.

The town hall meeting, which had in attendance along with the Senate President, the Nigerian Medical Association, Health Sector Reform Coalition, market women associations, youth groups, Nollywood actors Desmond Elliot, Waje, Denja Abdullahi and students from several schools was organised by ONE Campaign, Connected Development, Network of People Living with HIV/AIDS and Well Being Africa.

The Senate President expressed his understanding with the need of the people to share their concerns with those who are positioned to make necessary resolutions and impacts on the pressing issues being faced by society.

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