Women groups advocate for improved funding for immunization and PHCs at public hearing
Women groups across the country operating under the Women Advocates for Vaccine Access (WAVA) has called on the committee on healthcare services of the House of Representatives to make concerted efforts to improve immunization financing in all states of the federation and to engender transparency by mandating Ministries, Departments and Agencies of the Federal Government to make information on budget release and implementation easily accessible to Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) in a timely manner.
These were some of the recommendations in a MEMORANDUM ON FINANCING HEALTHCARE AND REVITALIZING PRIMARY HEALTH CARE (PHC) IN NIGERIA presented to the house members yesterday during a Public Hearing on Financing Healthcare and Revitalising Primary Health Care in Nigeria and made available to HealthNewsNG.com.
Presenting the memorandum in Abuja yesterday, the convener of WAVA, Dr. Chizoba Wonodi said that members of the coalition work in rural communities where they witness firsthand, the hardship and pains caused by weak primary health care system and absence or poor quality of health care.
She said “We have also identified inadequate funding and inefficient utilization of available funds as the key factors responsible for avoidable deaths and disabilities. Consequently, we have been leading advocacy at national and sub national levels for sustainable immunization and health financing to ensure equitable access to vaccines and quality health care in Nigeria.’’
The WAVA coalition made the following recommendations during the public hearing:
- To achieve better results and value for money, we want the National Assembly to strengthen its oversight functions and ensure efficiency in spending approved budgets for health in a bid to improve national health outcomes.
- To ensure transparency, we want the Ministries, Departments and Agencies of the Federal Government to make information on budget release and implementation easily accessible to Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) in a timely manner.
- To improve immunization financing at the state level, we want Honourable Members of the House of Representatives to work with the House of Assembly members in their states to ensure inclusion of a sufficient budget line for immunization to cover operational costs required for vaccine delivery, outreaches, supportive supervision, cold chain maintenance etc.
- To ensure a stronger health system, we want the Federal, State and Local Government authorities to increase allocation to the health sector to reach the 15 percent in accordance with the Abuja Declaration benchmark of African Head of States in 2001. As concrete steps towards attaining the 15%, governments at all levels should commit to raising the health allocation to 7.5% in the 2017 budget, then by 1.5% increment every year till 15% is achieved.
WAVA is a national coalition of over 30 women-focused organizations from diverse backgrounds and sectors, operating in all six geopolitical zones in Nigeria. WAVA members leverage their reach and positions to shape public opinion about the health and economic value of vaccines, while advocating for the rights of every Nigerian woman and child to have access to vaccines, no matter their location or economic situation.
The memorandum presented at the public hearing was adopted by 33 Civil Society Organizations.