On the proposed N820bn 2022 health budgetary allocation
Sir: I write with dismay about the proposed N820 billion health sector budgetary allocation for the year 2022, despite the fact that the area is supposed to account for the lion’s share of the budget due to the number of Nigerians suffering from the global epidemic. They frequently struggle to afford their medical bills, and there are few well-equipped local and state government hospitals.
Tragically, the health sector has only received 5 per cent of the budget, which is less than the 15 per cent declaration by African Union leaders. However, I wrote an article where I called on the President’s attention about his trip to London to seek medical attention published in the Daily Trust of Sunday, June 27, 2021, where I admonished him to, instead of these frivolous trips abroad, rehabilitate our dilapidated hospitals. But it seems like he has not heard of my suggestion.
There are countless Primary Health Care Centres and General Hospitals run by the state governments where lower-class Nigerians attend to seek medical attention, but the hospitals are antiquated and have inadequate medical supplies.
Shouldn’t the Federal Government collaborate with the state government by equipping them with medical equipment so that impoverished Nigerians have appropriate access to effective medical care? Because some Nigerians, if not all, cannot afford the Federal Government’s hospital expenses.
Take, for example, malaria and cholera: two diseases that are spreading like wildfire. Almost the majority of Nigerians attend these primary health care centres and general hospitals since they are far less expensive to manage. The Federal Government should prioritize them in this regard.
Despite the contributions of international health donors to the sector, we have failed to reduce, if not eliminate, cholera, malaria, and other deadly diseases. This year, Nigerians have not received or procured sufficient number of mosquito nets. While the malady claims the lives of too many Nigerians.
In a nutshell, I would like to implore the Federal Government to urgently heed my observations and suggestions to achieve an optimal health system in our dear country.
Mallam Musbahu Magayaki is of the Department of Health Education, Aminu Saleh College of Education, Azare.