USAID Advocates Judicious Use Of Health Care Financing Options

usaidThe United States Agency for International Development (USAID), has advised federal and states governments to ensure judicious use of available health financing options in the face of dwindling global funding for the health sector in Nigeria.

A representative of the American agency, Mrs Celeste Carr, gave the advice at a workshop on health care financing for state commissioners of health and their legislators in Abuja.

According to her, Nigeria’s health sector can be appropriately financed even in the face of dwindling global funding if local funding options are properly utilized.

In the last one decade, the Global Vaccine Alliance (GAVI), is said to have provided much funding for Nigeria’s health sector.

However, GAVI’s plans to stop the funding in the year 2017, has raised serious concerns about how the government will make up for the funding gaps that its exit and that of other donor partners would create.

Some participants in the forum have now advocated the need for a strong legal framework that will ensure universal health coverage and health care financing.

Meanwhile, a representative of the state’s Commissioner for Health, Balarabe Kakale, emphasized the need to implement the Abuja declaration of 2001 to improve financing for the health sector.

The nation’s annual appropriation for health has been fluctuating between 5.4 and 4.6 per cent of the total budget for the country since 2011.

However, in an attempt to improve the sector, the government is planning to scale the budget up to six per cent as it has earmarked 51 billion Naira for in the 2017 budget currently before the National Assembly.

NPHCDA Decries Poor Primary Healthcare Funding

NPHCDA Decries Poor Primary Healthcare FundingThe National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA) has blamed inadequate funding of the health sector on the poor primary healthcare services in Nigeria.

The Acting Director of NPHCDA, Emmanuel Odu, made the criticism at the 2016 annual primary healthcare lecture in Abuja, organised to discuss sustainable financing options for the sector.

Mr Odu stressed the effects of poor funding for the health sector on primary healthcare services in Nigeria, revealing that over 70% of Nigeria’s health funding comes from donor partners, tax revenues and ‘out of pocket’ spending by the individuals.

Also, a representative of the Northern Traditional Rulers at the forum and Emir of Jiwa, Idris Musa, explained how the lack of funding for primary healthcare had affected their communities.

The Director of Public Health at the Federal Ministry of Health, Evelin Ngige, who spoke on behalf the Minister of Health, confirmed the poor monetary allocation to the health sector.

She, however, assured the people of the government’s determination to provide more funding going forward.

The Global Vaccine Alliance, otherwise known as Gavi, has provided much funding for primary healthcare service in Nigeria.

The decision of the organisation to stop the funding of vaccines in Nigeria by 2017 has raised serious concern about how the Federal Government would make up for the funding gap that the exit of Gavi and other donor partners would create.

Out of the 6.08 trillion Naira 2016 budget, 221.7 was earmarked to fund the health sector.

This is a far cry from the 15% of Nigeria’s budget agreed by African leaders at the Abuja Declaration in 2001 to be committed to the health sector.