Nigeria’s Minister of Health, Isaac Adewole, has decried the inadequate attention the government is paying to health and the overdependence on foreign donors to fund health initiatives in the country.
Mr. Adewole, who spoke at the Maiden Edition of Health Communication Conference organised by Association of Nigeria Health Journalists, ANHEJ in Abuja on Thursday, said despite the improvement in budgetary allocation to the sector this year, it was still a far cry from global standards.
“Nigeria is still far below the Abuja Declaration, a commitment by the African Union Heads of Governments to ensure that at least 15 per cent of National Budgets are allocated to the health sector.
“In 2017, the Health Budget (Nigeria’s) is only around 4 per cent of the National Budget.
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“Though this represents a slight improvement from around 3.73 per cent in the 2016 budget, the numbers are worrisome. This would mean that only about N1, 500 (One Thousand and Five Hundred Naira only) is being spent on the health of every Nigerian per year,’’ Mr. Adewole said.
He said no Nigerian should be deprived health benefits as it was a fundamental human right that must be defended.
Mr. Adewole also noted that no donor programme last forever adding that Nigeria must start funding a major part of its health programs.
“When you look at HIV, about 70 per cent of the resources for HIV comes from outside. 99 per cent of the commodities were paid for by outsiders, so we must put our money.