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14yrs After Abuja Declaration, Nigeria Yet To Commit 15% Of Budget To Health - News - Nursesarena Forum

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14yrs After Abuja Declaration, Nigeria Yet To Commit 15% Of Budget To Health by Idowu Olabode : September 17, 2015, 04:02:50 PM
14 years after the Abuja Declaration, Nigeria is yet to fulfill its pledge of allotting 15 per cent of its annual budget to health.

In April 2001 at a meeting of African leaders in Abuja, Nigeria had pledged to support the Abuja Declaration and that at least 15 per cent of the government’s annual budget will be used to improve the health sector.

Last year, the country only allotted 6.3 per cent of budget to health down from 8.2 per cent the previous year.

According to the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), every single day, Nigeria loses about 2,300 under-five year olds and 145 women of childbearing age which makes the country the second largest contributor to the under–five and maternal mortality rate in the world.

There are many of such un-redeemed pledges in health like the Maputo Plan of Action to ensure universal access to reproductive health, the UN Every Woman Every Child- a commitment to save lives of women and children by 2015, the London Family Planning Summit- to mobilise contraceptive information, services and supplies and others.

But stakeholders are optimistic that President Muhammadu Buhari will address this challenge.

Speaking at an advocacy workshop yesterday, the national coordinator of Civil Society for Family Planning in Nigeria (CiSFP), Wale Adeleye said, “We now have a new government that is committed and talking about change.”

He said, “We now feel that if approach this government with information about these commitment; we can really get the change that we are clamouring for.”

On whether the Buhari government would redeem pledges made by the Jonathan government, he said that Jonathan made commitments in the area of security which Buhari came in and redeemed and they are towing same line.

“The president himself is a father and has wife and children and I know that if he understands what the commitment are all about, I don’t see him declining to support these commitments.”

According to Adeleye, they are not saying that people should not give birth to the number of children they want but they should space them.

“Family planning makes sense both in economic and social terms. When the mother healthy is healthy, every other member of the family would be health as well. That is why it is very key for every leader Christian or Muslim to see the need for integrating the issue of family planning in the country,” he noted.

He lamented that there people who are of particular religion who doesn’t want family planning to happen.

“When we are advocating for it in the ministry, there are people who sit on the files and people that speak against it. Even within the health sector, there are opposition but the most important thing is or us to prepare ourselves before we go there,” he added.

Source :Leadership Newspaper

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