By Haruna Gimba
The Partnership for Advocacy in Child and Family Health (PACFaH), a project implemented by eight leading Nigerian Civil Society Organizations (CSOs), has called on Federal Government to fulfill its commitment on child health related issues.
Addressing a Press Conference to commemorate 2016 Day of the African Child (DAC) in Kaduna, Programme Officers of CISLAC, CS-SUNN, CHR and PSN, urged the Nigerian government to protect children’s right and fund child and family health.
The DAC was instituted by the Heads of State and Government of the then Organization of African Unity (OAU) in 1991 to highlight the challenges faced daily by the African Child.
The 2016 theme is ‘Conflict and Crisis in Africa: Protecting all Children’s Rights’.
The statement was signed by Chioma Kanu of CISLAC, Aanu Rotimi of HERFON, Diana E. Edema-Sillo of CHR, Sunday Okoronkwo of CS-SUNN and David E. O. Akpotor of PSN.
The Press Statement which focuses on the sub-theme ‘Protecting the Children’s Rights: Fund Child and Family Health,’ called on the government to create massive awareness on the appropriate compliance to the required Medical procedures in administering Family Planning services to secure individuals’ confidence and acceptance.
“Provision appreciable access to Family Planning services through adequate budget provision, fulfilled Government’s commitment (London Summit) to Family Planning related issues,’ Aanu Rotimi of HERFON said.
PACFaH also urged government for timely release of the Routine immunization appropriated funds for 2016 and full implementation of the budget, adding that President Muhammadu Buhari should submit a supplementary budget to cater for the 2016 funding gap for Routine immunization.
The press conference further encouraged the active participation of CSOs and Media in the budget process.
“To ensure adequate preparation for leadership, commitment and capacity to identify and plan for sustainable sources of funding for Routine Immunization beyond 2021, as Nigeria begins transition from the Global Alliance Vaccines Initiative (GAVI) support,” Ms. Edema-Sillo of CHR said.
PACFaH also called for the adoption of the National Strategic Plan of Action (NSPAN) and implementation of the NSPAN with specific focus on Maternal and Child Nutrition component of the plan.
“CS-SUNN seeks increase funding for Maternal and Child Nutrition at the Ministries of Health and Agriculture. Creation of specific budget line on Nutrition across relevant institutions.
“Encourage exclusive breast feeding, adoption and effective implementation of the costed NSPAN at all levels to combat endemic Malnutrition in the Country and prompt release and effective management of budgeted funds to promote accountability and transparency in Government spending on Nutrition,” Mr. Okoronkwo of CS-SUNN said.
The coalition also called for increase Public awareness and acceptance of the use of Zinc-LO-ORS Co-pack as the First Line Drug in the Management of Childhood Diarrhoea, and adoption and listing of Amoxicillin DT as the First Line Drug for the Management of Childhood Pneumonia in the National Standard Treatment Guidelines and the National Essential Medicines List.
“The creation of a SPECIFIC BUDGET LINE for the procurement of these Essential Drugs (Amoxicillin DT and Zn-LO-ORS) that have been shown to reduce Pneumonia and Diarrhoea Deaths Globally and Nationally.
“Timely release and judicious use of funds allocated for the procurement of these Essential Medicines as captured in the budget,” Mr. Akpotor of PSN said.
“The PACFaH team are optimistic that the implementation of these advocacy requests will drastically reduce the unfavourable Maternal and Childhood Mortality from avoidable Maternal Deaths via uptake of Family Planning Commodities, Childhood Deaths due to Malnutrition, Vaccines preventable Diseases and Treatable Pneumonia and Diarrhoea in Nigeria,” Chioma Kanu of CISLAC stated.