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Nigeria needs to start funding healthcare as population increases, says WHO

Nigeria needs to start funding healthcare as population increases, says WHO
April 08
22:20 2023

The World Health Organisation (WHO) says Nigeria needs to start allocating more funds to healthcare as the country’s population increases.

Speaking during a meeting with journalists in Abuja, Walter Mulombo, WHO country representative in Nigeria, said healthcare issues should not be regarded as a political choice.

Mulombo said inadequate funding of the healthcare system is a great challenge in Nigeria, noting that the proposed 15 percent government budget on health has not been achieved.

He said Nigeria allocated more funds to defence and the army, adding that health services should not be considered a luxury but a human right.

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He said the WHO assessment shows that 80 percent of the money expended on healthcare services is used for tertiary hospitals.

“In Nigeria where a proposed target was set that 15 percent of total government budget should go to health, until today we are still far from achieving the target,’’ NAN quoted Mulombo as saying.

“We need to start talking about human rights violations because it is not acceptable for any child to miss a vaccine.

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“The spending itself is distorted. That is the biggest challenge that has generated everything that we have seen.

“Lack of adequate budget to prepare responses to a pandemic, for instance, we have to struggle in many places.”

The WHO representative expressed concern over the poor standard of Nigeria hospitals, pointing out that healthcare facilities used in the colonial era were still being used across some hospitals.

“Many countries continue to consider health as a luxury or something that is costing the government money whereas it should have been taken like an enabling factor for economic and socio-economic development,’’ he added.

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“The country is not expending in the space of demographic transition and the way the population is increasing, Nigeria is projected to have more than 400 million population by 2040, 2050.

“The health body is still expecting the flu pandemic and has been preparing for it. When the COVID-19 pandemic hit the world, no country was ready not even the U. S., UK, and yet we have international health regulations and global health security agenda.

“The way we prepare was a challenge and the other one was that the demographic transition and the prominence of disease civilisation, non-communicable diseases, our health facilities are not prepared to face these challenges.”

 

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