By Sola Ogundipe
ACOALITION of Civil Society Organisations under the auspices of the Lagos State Accountability Mechanism for Maternal and Newborn Health, LASAM, weekend appealed to the Lagos State Government to release funds to procure essential life-saving commodities that would enable Primary Healthcare Centres, PHCs, across the state to provide services free of charge.
Making the call during a media roundtable on Lagos State 2017 Health Budget Scorecard, the organisations further observed that the stock- out of the commodities across most of the PHCs in the first three months of the year was due to lack of these commodities in the state for distribution.
They, however, applauded the reduction of stock-outs of essential life-saving commodities in the secondary health facilities in the state.
“We therefore request the Lagos State Ministry of Health and its agencies to sustain this progress and ensure 100 per cent availability of essential life-saving commodities in all public health facilities offering maternal and child health services in Lagos State.”
The CSOs, after a review of the salient points of the MNCH and other scorecards, urged the state government to create a specific budget line item in 2019 for Routine Immunisation in the PHC Board Budget to facilitate sustained, regular outreaches by the PHCs especially for hard- to-reach areas and thereby increase routine immunisation coverage in the state.
“We ask that the Lagos State Government should timely release the full Family Planning Budget allocation in the Lagos State Primary Health Care Board 2018 Budget to enable procurement of family planning consumables, as that would significantly remove current financial barriers to the most vulnerable women accessing family planning modern contraception.”
Add a separate budget line to the routine monitoring checklist for regular tracking of facilities that have FP information materials.
They also asked that the Lagos State Ministry of Health implement the Lagos State Health Insurance Scheme with its basic, defined minimum package of Primary Health care services.
Speaking, the co-Chairman of LASAM, Barrister Ayo Adebusayo, said LASAM was established to achieve the cardinal objectives of the accountability framework of the Global Strategy for Women’s and Children’s Health. They monitor, review and act to ensure that more mothers and babies survive pregnancy and childbirth. This, it does, by using evidence to advocate for government actions and accountability.