By Haruna Gimba
The Partnership for Advocacy in Child and Family Health (PACFaH), a coalition of civil society groups pushing for child and family health, has called for the full appropriation for the Basic Healthcare Provision Fund, financed by 1% of consolidated revenue and backed by the National Health Act
PACFaH told the Budget and National Planning Minister, Senator Udoma Udo Udoma, to help push for Nigeria to redeem its commitments to increase in health spending.
The commitments range from the Abuja Declaration in 2001, when heads of governments committed their countries to allocate 15% of their budgets to health.
The coalition wants appropriation for Nigeria to procure life-saving commodities including amoxicillin dispersible tablets, for childhood pneumonia, and zinc-low-osmolarity oral rehydration solution, for childhood diarrhoea.
Speaking during a visit on the minister, Programme Director of the Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria (PSN)-led PACFaH, Remi Adeseun,ncalled for adequate funds to fully implement a costed work plan to push the National Strategic Plan of Action for Nutrition (NSPAN).
Health Reporters gathered that the NSPAN is supposed to expire in 2019, but implementation has stalled since the policy document was released.
“The coalition calls for investing in health not just as an expense or a social service but giving positive contribution to the nation’s economy,” Adeseun said.
PACFaH wants more inclusion of civil society groups in planning and discussions leading up to budget formulation, and has asked that CSOsmworking in health be invited to the medium term development planning meetings spanning 2016 to 2020.=
Responding, Senator Udoma said even though he could not comment on raising health allocation to 15% of national budget immediately, but he said there is a very strong commitment by President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration to meet those objectives.
“We intend to give support to the Federal Ministry of Health. It will be at the forefront and guide in how best to achieve these objectives. The government needed civil society groups working hard to bring issues to both government and public notice,” Udoma said.