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Global Fund urges Nigeria to invest more on healthcare

by Haruna Gimba

By Muhammad Amaan

The Global Fund has urged the Nigeria’s Federal and the 36 state governments to invest more funds to boost the country’s healthcare.

Head of Grant Management, Mr Mark Edington, made the call during the inauguration of an oxygen pipeline project by Global Fund at the Federal Medical Centre, Ebute Meta in Lagos, initiated through the Clinton Health Access Initiative.

The Global Fund is an international financing and partnership organisation that invests resources to end the epidemics of HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria, globally.

Medical oxygen pipeline consists of medical oxygen generators system, medical vacuum pumps system, medical air compressor system, nitrous oxide, nitrogen system, carbon dioxide system, and central workstation.

“We will like to see more money being invested in health because presently, Nigeria invests about six per cent of its budget on health.

“We want the government to move towards the 2001 Abuja declaration of 15 per cent budget allocation to the health sector.

“Both the federal and state governments must invest more in health to enhance the system, particular in life saving commodities.

“Global Fund focuses on HIV, TB and malaria, as well as health systems. We would like the government to increase its investment anti-retroviral, viral therapy for HIV,” he said.

On the oxygen pipeline, Edington said it was provided in the hospital to deliver life-saving intervention to patients, most especially children.

He said Global Fund had invested close to $800 million globally on oxygen.

Edington said: “So, this initiative comes out of learnings from the COVID-19 crisis when we realised that there were just too many facilities around the world that had no access or not enough access to oxygen.

“As part of our COVID-19 response funding, we then invested quite heavily in oxygen around the world.

“I’m highly impressed with what I have seen on ground at FMC hospital; the oxygen cylinders, the oxygen plant, the piping and all of these will be available to patients.”

Speaking earlier, Dr Adedamola Dada, the Medical Director of FMC Ebute Meta, commended Global Fund for providing the life-saving project in the hospital.

He said the project would ensure easy access to oxygen at a reduced cost for patients.

“We appreciate Global Fund through the Clinton Health Access Initiative for the laudable project, which was just commissioned.

“Oxygen is life and a patient has probably just five minutes to live when there is no oxygen. So, the impact of this project is going to be tremendous.

“One of the things that came up during the COVID-19 pandemic was the gaps noticed in our care system, and that is one of those gaps that this project is going to cover,” he said.

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