By Becky John
The All Progressives Congress (APC) on Friday promised to deliver improved healthcare services to Nigerians if elected. Alhaji Lai Mohammed, APC’s National Publicity Secretary, said the party’s Health Policy would provide adequate medical personnel and midwifery to reduce maternal mortality rate at the local communities.
Mohammed made this known at the Nigeria Political Parties discussion series organized by Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD) for APC and PDP in Abuja. According to him, Nigeria’s health performance is low; the maternal rate is 62 per cent and 12 per cent infant mortality. He said if voted into the Presidency, the APC government would extend the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) to cover everyone in the country.
“The major focus of APC is to make healthcare services cheap and also ensure that the informal sector of the Nigerian society benefit from the scheme.
“The issue of training and retraining of medical personnel will be improved upon at the local communities, and will give room for more midwifes at the local communities,” Mohammed said.
He said that APC would also place emphasis on health policy that would revolve around a local network of mobile clinics to make it easily accessible to Nigerians.
Mohammed said that funding for the various health initiatives would be raised through the elimination of corruption and wastages of funds.
“We will tackle corruption to generate revenue to execute the project; it is not about dwindling revenue about mismanagement and embezzlement.
“The price of crude oil has also gone down in many countries in the world but they are not complaining as much as we are complaining.”
On Education, Mohammed said the rate of poor performance of students in the National Examination Council (NECO) and Senior School Certificate Examination (SSCE) called for a national attention.
According to him, Nigeria is the only country where parents have better education than their children, indicating the falling standard of education in the country.
He said that APC would ensure free and qualitative education at all levels and resuscitates technical schools to make them appealing.
“Education is a big problem in Nigeria, more than 10.5 million children dropped out of school every year, especially at the northern part where insecurity had sent children out of schools.”
At the debate, Mr Kachi Onanuju, a People’s Democratic Party (PDP) chieftain, said that the present administration had done a lot on healthcare delivery, such as the fight against the outbreak of Ebola virus. Onanuju said that government had succeeded in curbing polio diseases across the country, adding that a world class hospital had been established in Akwa-Ibom to handle sicknesses that required adequate attention.
He said that child mortality had dropped considerably, adding that many hospitals have been refurbished at the federal, state and at the local levels.
He said that the present administration had been able to tackle HIV/AIDs in the country, adding that people living with the disease are receiving adequate medication and stigmatisation has also reduced tremendously.
“People living with the disease are receiving adequate attention now and the transfer from mother to child has also reduced.’’
The PDP chieftain said that the administration had been able to block corrupt practices in the civil service through IPPIS whereby several billions are being saved for the government on a monthly basis.
On education, he said President Goodluck Jonathan had built 12 new federal universities across the country in addition to Almajiri schools in the northern region. He said that the PDP administration did not neglect technical schools in the country as it was building talents.