Reps admit underfunding of health sector
The Chairman, House committee on Health Care Services, Chike John Okafor, has said the country’s health sector is grossly underfunded, even as he assured that the Legislature would advocate more funds.
Okafor, who spoke, yesterday, in Abuja at a breakfast meeting with the United Nation Children’s Fund (UNICEF), said: “Assisting and supporting healthcare delivery in the country would be the parliament’s modest contribution towards actualising a universal health coverage, which is part of what UNICEF is driving.”
The lawmaker recalled that in 2001, heads of health sectors in African countries converged in Abuja and made a declaration that a minimum of 15 percent of the national budget of a country must be dedicated to the health sector.
He said: “Small countries like Gambia has gone past 15 percent and here in Nigeria, we are still struggling to see if we can do six or seven percent. If we can get out of the one percent consolidated revenue and add it to the usual provision for health in a current year, I think it would go a long way.