Chijioke Kaduru: Health budget: How Buhari can demonstrate commitment to the Nigerian people

Chijioke Kaduru: Health budget: How Buhari can demonstrate commitment to the Nigerian people

By Chijioke Kaduru

As the Federal Executive Council prepares to present the second budget of this Administration to the National Assembly, President Muhammadu Buhari can demonstrate unparalleled commitment to Nigerians through the 2017 Budget and the commitments to the Health Budget contained within.

Nigeria has a weak health system, easily seen through the number of certain events that occur around the Country. Our own National Demographic and Health Survey of 2013 (NDHS) records 576 maternal deaths out of every 100,000 live births. This translates to the deaths of approximately 40,000 women every year (111 deaths per day or 5 deaths per hour) due to pregnancy or issues related to or aggravated by Pregnancy.

Within the same NDHS, 69 infants die in every 1,000 live births and 128 children under 5 years die per 1,000 live births. This implies that 1 in 15 Nigerian children die before their first birthday and that 1 in 8 die before their fifth birthday.

Programs designed to enable families to choose the number and spacing of their children, increase the proportion of births attended by skilled health personnel, increase immunizations against vaccine-preventable diseases, provide early recognition, care and treatment to sick children especially children with Malaria, Pneumonia and Diarrhea, and programs to upgrade the status of women through education and enhanced participation in the labor force can all help to improve the probability of survival of young children.

A number of these programs already exist and are running across Nigeria. However, poor budgetary allocations to such critical programs have continued to undermine these programs, limiting our ability as a Nation to save the lives of women attempting to bring life into the world, and the lives of the babies. The programs that can save these lives are funded by the Capital Expenditure portion of the Health Budget, which stands at a meager N28 billion for 2016.

Beyond the very critical issue of saving lives and advancing the health of Nigerian families, the need for an increase in the Capital Expenditure portion of the Health Budget is evident in the current funding arrangement across Health programs. Currently, donors predominantly fund some of the most important programs that can save the lives of women and children. Programs cutting across family planning, immunization, nutrition and major childhood killer diseases fall into this category.

With the rebasing of Nigeria’s economy a few years ago, Nigeria moved up a development category and was no longer seen as a low-income country. This has resulted in the need for some of these donor funds to be wound down, as donor funds typically target countries in the low-income category. This means that while there is a gap in funding to support these programs currently, the gap is going to widen as donor funds wind down and are pulled out. Nigeria needs to take a position and begin to allocate increasing amounts of money to the Health Budget to sustainably fund these programs.

Additionally, as Nigeria looks to work its way out of a recession, the Nation must look to the evidence of some best practices around the World. Evidence from the work of the Lancet Commission on Investing in Health found that between the year 2000 and 2011, Health investments were responsible for nearly a quarter of economic growth in developing countries.

With limited income attributable to a global oil price crash, Nigeria must spend scarce resources smartly, for better outcomes. Investing in the Health Budget towards ensuring that the lives of women and children are saved, and that Nigerian families are healthier, increases the readiness of individuals to join the work force, increases the productivity of people already a part of the work force, reduces the number of days that members of a family are absent from work, and reduces the amounts of money committed by families to restore health. All of these have the potential to contribute to sustainable economic growth.

A recent Nigeria Health Budget trend analysis by the Partnership for Advocacy in Child and Family Health shows that 2016 was the year with the second lowest commitment to Health by the Federal Government, across a 10-year period. Additionally, the National Health Law mandates that 1% of the Consolidated Revenue Fund of the Federal Government be committed to funding the Basic Healthcare Provision Fund.

The President Buhari-led administration cannot afford to be remembered for a legacy of inadequate funding towards saving the lives of women and children. The administration will also not want to be remembered for refusing to obey the rule of law as mandated by the National Health Law, especially when this law simply seeks to improve the lives and wellbeing of Nigerian children and families.

The Honorable Minister of health has a commitment to Nigerians to ensure that Child and Family health programs are adequately budgeted for and are a priority in the 2017 Health Budget. The Minister of Budget and National Planning has made a commitment to Nigerians to work towards ensuring an increased 2017 Health Budget. President Buhari will need to lead this process to showcase his unparalleled commitment to Nigerians.

An investment in Health is an investment in the wellbeing of all Nigerians and an investment in the Economic growth and development of this nation.

– Dr. Kaduru is a Program Officer for the Association for the Advancement of Family Planning.

The Scoop

aljazirah adverts


follow us on twitter @aljazirahnewsng
Like us on Facebook @aljazirahnewsng

Share This:

Related Posts

Grace Mugabe leaves South Africa, no assault charge South African authorities have allowed Zimbabwe’s first lady Grace Mugabe return to Harare, without pressing the charge of assault against her. Zimbabwe media confirmed Grace’s arrival in Harare, a week after a 20-year-old model, Gabriella Engels, accused her of assault in an upmarket Johannesbur...
How Nigerian govt, states shared N2.56 trillion in six month... The federal government, thirty-six states of the federation and the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, have so far shared the sum of N2.56 trillion in the first half of 2017 from the Federation Account Allocation Committee (FAAC), an investigation by Economic Confidential has revealed. The report by...
Kogi govt declares public holiday over Buhari’s return Governor Yahaya Bello of Kogi State has declared Monday, August 21 as public holiday and Thanksgiving day to commemorate the safe return of  President Muhammadu Buhari from his medical vacation in London. A statement issued on Sunday in Lokoja by his Director General on Media and Publicity, Kings...
Gunmen kill Gov Ortom’s aide Gunmen have killed an aide to Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue State. The Governor’s Principal Special Assistant on Knowledge Economy and Investments, Dr. Tavershima Adyororough, was shot and killed by gunmen who invaded his residence at about 12.30 on Sunday morning. ...
Pastor quits Trump’s evangelical advisory board, says ‘Presi... New York City megachurch pastor, Mr. A.R. Bernard, became the first religious leader to step down from President Trump’s evangelical advisory board. He also announced his resignation via the Twitter. Bernard announced on Twitter Friday that “it became obvious that there was a deepening conflic...
Suspected Nigerian drug trafficker jumps to death in India Suspected Nigerian drug trafficker jumped to his death off the fourth floor of a building in southern New Delhi,India yesterday while trying to escape police arrest. Forty-year old Cyprian Ama Ogbonnaya had been trailed to the building by the police after receiving...
I’m “President in-waiting”, says Fayose Ekiti State Governor Peter Ayodele Fayose is famous for his controversies. On Saturday, ahead of President Muhammed Buhari’s arrival from London,  Fayode declared himself as Nigeria’s president in-waiting. He spoke at the Jolly Nyame Stadium, Jalingo –the Taraba State capital during the funeral ser...
BREAKING: President Buhari finally arrives Nigeria after Nig... By Gbenga Odunsi, Abuja President Buhari has finally arrived Nigeria after spending 103 days on a medical trip in London. Buhari's plane landed at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja at about 4:35 pm on Saturday afternoon. Dozens of state officials arrived the airport hours earl...
Obaseki and his Knack for tough decisions There is no question about Godwin Obaseki’s commitment to the welfare of Edo people as he continues to make the difficult decisions to clear out entrenched behaviours that inhibit growth Crusoe Osagie writes Lying adjacent to the University of Benin, Ekehuan Campus, is Garrick Memorial Secondary ...
Resume or Resign: Presidential jet finally departs for Niger... A video of Nigeria’s presidential jet, the Eagle One, taking off from London, UK with President Muhammadu Buhari believed to be on board, has emerged online. The clip was posted on @APCUKingdom’s Twitter account on Saturday morning, as soon as the President’s spokesman, Femi Adesina, confirmed he...
FEATURE: Quality education for children in IDPs camps By Mariam Sanni, Abuja Since 2009, Boko Haram have abducted more than 2000 women and girls. Over 27 million children are estimated to lack access to education, many are being used for suicide bombings, as sex slaves and countless other vices. For these children, not only is their educational d...
Buhari back today, to address Nigerians on Monday The presidency has announced that President Muhammadu Buhari will be back to Nigeria today, Saturday. According to a NAN reports quoting Presidential spokesman, Femi Adesina, Buhari will be back today after about 106 days of healthcare exit in London and is expected to address the country in a na...