By Hassan Zaggi
The federal government has been advised to respect all agreement signed with health professionals in the country.
This is in order to resolve permanently the lingering acrimony among actors in the health sector and to enable them perform optimally.
The Coordinator, Africa Health Budget Network (AHBN), Dr. Aminu Magashi, made the call in an exclusive interview during the two-day seminar organised for journalists by the AHBN in Abuja.
He further called on the government to invest more funds in family planning in an effort to improve the health of mothers and checkmate the country’s population.
He applauded the Partnership for Maternal, Newborn and Child Health (PMNCH-4) call to action, appealing on the federal government to implement the provisions to the later.
“There are seven call to action by PMNCH. One of them is to do with human resources for health like the payment of health workers in general and also improving infrastructure in our facilities and creating enabling environment for health workers.
“My take is that this is a very important call to action. You cannot expect health workers to perform at optimum level if you are not paying them their entitlement.
“We call on the Nigerian government to respect all agreement signed by professional bodies in the health sector including doctors Nurses and Midwives, pharmacists and others.
“Recall that the Nigerian government has committed to allocated about 1.4million dollars every year which is around 1.2 billion naira for family planning services.
“We call on the government to implement this and ensure the release of the fund.
“The money was not allocated in the 2021 budget line for family planning.
“We call on Minister of Finance and Health to work together to allocate that money for family planning.
“If you look at the population of Nigeria which is over 200 million and a lot of people are not gainfully employed because of scarce resources.
“We need to invest in family planning to manage our population very well.”
He further called on the Federal Government to put to judicious use the 500 billion naira which is equivalent to 1.4 billion dollars stimulus funds given to the Nigerian government by the International Monetary Fund for COVID-19 response in the country.
Out of the 500 billion naira, 126 billion is for intervention in the health sector.
According to him: “126 billion naira is a lot of money. If you look at the entire package of the Basic Health Care Provision Fund (BHCPF) is 35 billion naira but we are celebrating that money.
“Now, we are given additional 126 billion naira for Covid-19 response. It is something to celebrate.
“But we are still calling on the government to put these monies into use to provide a response for Nigerians.
Within this 126 billion there is 20 billion naira for hazard allowance, there is 10 billion for vaccine production, there is research and documentation, there is money for intensive care unit, there is also money for training and retraining and that for monitoring and evaluation. “