25 June 2019

Nigeria: We're Investing $180 Million Domestic Resources On Health in 2019 - Govt

Federal Government has said it is currently investing over $180 million domestic resources on Nigeria's health care system, exclusive of the 2019 budgetary allocation to the sector.

The Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Health, Mashi Abdullahi, disclosed this yesterday at the first-ever Value for Money workshop organised by the World Health Organization, WHO, Africa Region, in Abuja.

He said the purpose of the $180 million investment was to help address the issue of limited public funding for health projects in Nigeria and to improve on the country's current health indices.

Abdullahi said: "The Government of Nigeria is currently investing additional domestic resources amounting to over $180 million in addition to her annual budgetary allocation to health.

"The purpose of this is to aggressively improve on her current health indices as well as ensure sustainable and efficient financing for health."

Meanwhile, the National Malaria Elimination Programme, NMEP, has blamed inadequate funding for Nigeria's loss of previous gains in the control of malaria disease.

Recall that between 2010 and 2015, the national malaria prevalence dropped from 42 to 27 per cent.

But the latest World Malaria Report, WMR, by the World Health Organization, WHO has shown that over three million new cases are recorded annually in Nigeria since 2016.

Speaking at a media chat in Abuja yesterday, NMEP's National Coordinator, Dr Audu Mohammed, stated that going by the data contained in the WHO's global malaria report, saying "it is a fact that Nigeria's progress in the control of the disease has stalled.

"This fund will be used to purchase a basic healthcare package for the benefit of every Nigeria; it is also intended to be used as a strategic instrument to reduce our current out of pocket health expenditure which was estimated at 76.6% of Total Health Expenditure as at the 2017 National Health Accounts study."

Earlier, the WHO Officer-in-Charge for Nigeria, Dr Clement Peters, said the workshop was part of strategies for implementing the 13th General Programme of work which captures the reform agenda towards Universal Health Coverage.

The national malaria prevalence dropped from 42 to 27 per cent between 2010 and 2015. These outcomes were as a result of the synergy and support by the government at all levels as well as investments by the development partners.

"This progress has, however, stalled based on the World Health Organization (WHO) 2018 World Malaria Report (WMR). In Nigeria, there is no doubt that most of the gains earlier achieved are gradually getting eroded. This is largely due to inadequate funding and mobilization of resource requirements."

To arrest this negative slide and restore malaria control efforts back on track, Mohammed said there was need for concerted efforts by all stakeholders to improve on resource mobilization, adding "One critical means of addressing the increasing malaria burden in a way that is effective, sustainable and bridging existing resource requirement gaps is by ensuring adequate international and domestic funding streams. It is important to engage all key stakeholders and the private sector to complement what the government of Nigeria (both federal and State) is providing."


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