Stakeholders in the Health Sector yesterday appealed to the Federal government to increase the health sector budgetary allocation to 15 percent as against the current 5.5 percent.
They also challenged government to honour its 2013 commitment by increasing the Family Planning commodities budget to at least 11 million dollars.
Speaking at a one-day forum in Abuja, the Chairman Association For Advancement of Family Planning (AAFP), Dr. Ejike Orji, said that the Federal health budget has remained far short of the 15 percent of the national budget for the past 15 years since African Heads of State and Government first made the Abuja declaration in 2001.
AAFP is a coalition of stakeholders advocating for increased access to high quality information and service in Nigeria through improved social, political and financial commitment.
‘’In 2013, the Federal government budgeted 270 billion Naira for the health sector, representing 5.5 percent of the federal budget, in 2014, the federal government budgeted N216.40 billion representing 4.4 percent of the national budget, this marked a 20.73 percent drop in the actual value of the health budget and in its share of the national budget, the health budget in 2015 is 237 billion Naira and about 5.5 percent of the national budget of N4.36 trillion.’’
According to him, the money that went to family Planning (FP) from the health budget was less than one percent of the total health budget both in 2013 and 2014 a situation he explained was dangerous for the nation’s family planning strategy. He said that the nominal growth rate for family planning in 2014 was therefore -18.73 percent.
He noted that going by the lopsidedness in the nation’s budgetary allocations to the health sector, AAFP is calling on government to build a sytrong public private partnership arrangements with the corporate private sector for a sustainable family Planning policy, programmes and services regimes.
“Government should establish the right enabling environment for sustainable and equitable access to FP services by implementing the CHEW task shifting policy, make FP budgeting and other interventions to be evidence-based by adopting the State level cost implementation Plans for budgeting, release promptly federal counterpart funding for all approved bilateral and multilateral support to Nigeria for FP.’’
In his Presentation, a Representative of Community Health and Research Initiative, Dr. Aminu Magashi, said that the Nigerian government must have the political will and leadership to ensure that sufficient funds are available for the health sector operations, for the drugs, then for the primary health care for the benefit of the women and children, it will go a long way to enable the women to space their children and have a productive life.
Culled from the Guardian Newspaper – http://www.ngrguardiannews.com/2015/05/stakeholders-seek-15-budgetary-allocation-for-health-sector/