By Asmau Ahmad
The University of Lagos (UNILAG) has said the nation’s healthcare is heavily financed by donor agencies.
Professor of Paediatrics, Temiye Edamisan made this disclosure while delivering the 13th Inaugural Lecture, titled, ‘Catastrophic Diseases of Children – The Despair, The Struggle, The Hope for the Future’ in the 2021/2022 Academic Session of UNILAG.
Prof. Edamisan explained that Nigeria participated and agreed with other African counties to commit at least 15 per cent of its national budgets to healthcare, saying Nigeria did not fulfil the agreement.
“The government at all levels needs to be committed to the healthcare delivery system of this country if we hope to have a substantial improvement in the health of the citizens.
“A situation in which our healthcare financing depends heavily on donor agencies does not augur well for the Nation. Increasing budgetary allocation to health to at least 15 per cent of the national budget should impact positively on our healthcare delivery system.
“It should be noted that Nigeria participated and agreed with other African countries to commit at least 15 per cent of her national budget to healthcare. However, the nation’s overall health budget hovers between 3.7% and 5.75% since the commitment was made in 2001.”
He said that his lecture would highlight his experiences concerning some numerous diseases that affected children especially sickle cell disease, the human immunodeficiency virus and childhood cancers.
While making further recommendations, Edamisan suggested that educating the generality of people about sickle cell disorder was very important.
He also revealed that for the first time in Nigeria, specialists in the Lagos University Teaching Hospital would commence bone marrow transplant on a full scale by June 2023.
“This milestone was the result of the collaboration between LUTH and Sickle Cell Foundation Nigeria, which also facilitated the establishment of the first Comprehensive Bone Marrow Transplant Centre in Lagos, the first of its kind in West Africa.”
The Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Folasade Ogunsola, who was represented by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Development Services), Prof. Ayodele Atsenuwa, presided over the lecture.