By CHIOMA OBINNA
Lagos State chapter of the Association of General Private Medical Practitioners of Nigeria, AGPMPN has bemoaned the current 6.04 per cent allocation to Health in the 2013 Budget, arguing that it is far from the World Health Organisation, WHO, standard.
Meanwhile, the Association has thrown its weight behind the Lagos state’s government’s programmes to ensure zero infant and maternal morbidity and mortality.
In a media chat, the Chairman, Dr. Adeyeye Jimmy Arigbabuwo, expressed worry that with such allocation, attainment of MDGs 4 and 5 will be a mirage, and called on Federal Government to urgently increase the budgetary allocation to the health sector.
Citing Ghana, which presently has 8 per cent budgetary allocation to health, Arigbabuwo said Nigeria, can still do better, especially in view of the country’s unacceptable high maternal/infant mortality ratios. “We are more interested in the horizontal and vertical rational distribution and allocation with emphasis on primary care, especially the level at which secondary and tertiary complications are prevented.”
Commending the Lagos State Government on its newly launched Maternal and Child Mortality Reduction Programme, the Chairman who pledged the association’s support, said it would partner with the government in the distribution of the Mother and Child Booklets free of charge, adding, that they would actively participate in all steps that would reduce morbidity and mortality in the state.”
He noted that the programme would guarantee the Millennium Development Goals, MDGs, 4&5, aimed at reducing child mortality rate by two-thirds and three quarters of the maternal mortality ratio as well as achieve universal access to reproductive health by 2015.
The 2nd Vice Chairman, Dr. Gani Salaudeen, said all over the world, medical doctors only have the right to prescribe drugs because of their training and skill, but presently in Nigeria, laboratory scientists, pharmacists, traditional herbalists, among others prescribe drugs with severe consequences.
“This is in contrast with what is obtainable in the United State, US, and the United Kingdom, UK, where except for over-the-counter, OTC drugs, no pharmacy or drug store would sell drugs without prescription,” Salaudeen added.