By Emman Ovuakporie & Johnbosco Agbakwuru
THE House of Representatives has called on the Federal Government to declare a state of emergency on Primary Healthcare Centres, PHCs across the Federation as a result of the non-functioning of 90 per cent of the 34,000 PHCs.
The House also raised the alarm about the shortage of vaccines in the country saying it is putting millions of Nigerian children at risk of Vaccine Preventable Diseases such as polio, tuberculosis and tetanus.
The House, in a motion sponsored by Chike John Okafor of Ehime Mbano/Ihitte Uboma/Obowo Federal Constituency of Imo State, titled, “Urgent need to avert national health crisis through adequate funding and revitalisation of the PHC System in Nigeria” government was urged to commence the implementation of the Abuja Declaration by appropriating 15 percent of the National budget to health in 2017.
“About 90 per cent of the 34,000 PHCs in Nigeria are not functional at the moment, and a recent UN report says most do not have basic functional equipment and staff.
“Nigeria is about to witness a shortage of vaccines as major donor agencies commence gradual withdrawal of support for funding vaccine procurements in Nigeria, and if adequate budgetary allocation is not made to the health sector, the result would be better imagined.
He said funding remains significant threat to attainment of universal health coverage, given that Nigeria has consistently not allocated up to the minimum required 15 per cent of the National Budget to the Health sector, as recommended by the African Heads of State Summit in Abuja in 2011, otherwise known as the Abuja Declaration.
“This might have contributed greatly to the non-attainment of the health related aspects of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) in Nigeria before the programmelapsed in December, 2015.
The House therefore called for urgent financial intervention to forestall the sharp shortfall in vaccine supply due to the withdrawal of donor agencies from funding vaccine procurement for Nigeria.