By Edoamaowo Udeme
The Civil Society Platform on Health (CSPH) has called on the Federal Government to move healthcare to a first line charge and concentrate on indigenous funding as vaccine-preventable disease continue to claim many lives.
The call was made in a media chat with journalists to showcase contributions for better health outcome and to encourage the media to take up advocating health issues with their news items as indigenous funding is key to effective healthcare delivery.
According to Former Minister of Health, Professor Adenike Grange, who is President of CSHP, she noted in a telephone conversation that: “A lot can be done by the media because whatever we do will always remain at the grassroot level until the media takes the awareness to the world”.
On falsification of figures of immunization data gathering in Nigeria, Grange said: “Nigeria is still young, we dont have a robust system for gathering data so its in our plan to collect data and report it at community level.
“Data collection on polio is authenti and we hope to use that mechanism to work on vaccines,” she said.
On production of local vaccines in Nigeria instead of importation, Grange said “We definitely need it but at this stage of planning as it will boost economic development.
“We are hoping that it will cheaper because most things produce locally dont come cheap especially at the beginning, we hope to produce and even export as partnership is the key to improving planning and implementation of any health programme” she added.
According to Ayo Ipinmole of the Civil Society in Malaria Control, Immunization and Nutrition: “Our government needs to take full ownership of the health system in the country, and that ownership includes largely funding. What you dont pay for you dont own, the people who pay for our health system invariably own our health system”.
Dr Babagana Adam of the Civil Society for Eradication of Tuberculosis in Nigeria, harped Indigenous funding.
“The government has relaxed and depends on outside donors”.
“All the funding needed for health is very poor, According to Babagana, the gap for TB is 55 percent.
“Were it not for external funding, HIV, TB, Malaria would have killed all of us, the whole money budgeted for health, if its sunk only on AIDS or TB alone, it will swallow it all”.
Walter Ugwucha of the Civil Society for HIV/AIDS in Nigeria said that “Money budgeted for health purposes is used for something that has nothing to do with it”.
“Take for instance Zamfara state 2016 budget was 77 millions for health, but by 2017 that budget was released and wss used for Hajj instead of health”.
Wale Adeleye of the Civil Society for Family Planning pointed out “Federal and State government to change their minset of believing that GAVI, WHO, Global Fund USAID etc will always release funds for health”.
“FG owe a duty to their people to provide accessible and affordable healthcare
We cannot continue to fund health through the exclusive budgetary circle of the ministry of health” he added