Connect with us

Health

NGO Launches Draft Bill on Proposed Health Development Bank of Nigeria

Published

on

NGO Launches Draft Bill on Proposed Health Development Bank of Nigeria
… Says Sugar & Sweetened Beverage (SSB) Tax Capable of Yielding USD 4.8 billion Annually to Finance Nation’s Health Sector

By: Michael Mike

The Centre for Social Justice (CSJ) has put forward a proposal for the establishment of a Health Development Bank in a move towards strengthening Nigeria’s healthcare system.

The announcement was made by the Lead Director of CSJ, Eze Onyekpere, during a workshop on “Innovative and Alternative Funding of the Health Sector” held in Abuja on Wednesday.

The current state of healthcare financing in Nigeria has been a cause for concern, with allocations to the health sector averaging a mere 5% of the federal budget over the last five years (2018-2022). These allocations encompass capital, recurrent, statutory transfers, and other vital aspects of the health sector, but still fall far short of meeting the sector’s demands.

According to Onyekpere, the CSJ’s proposal for a Health Development Bank seeks to address the financial constraints faced by the health sector, he noted that: “If implemented, the bank will provide a predictable and sustainable source of funding for critical health projects, ensuring that funds are tied to specific results and milestones in line with national health policies and goals.”

Currently, a significant portion of Nigeria’s health budget is dedicated to recurrent expenditure, leaving minimal room for capital investments in health infrastructure and upgrades. Onyekpere said “The proposed Health Development Bank would enable targeted investments in areas such as health facilities, medical equipment, digital technology for telemedicine, and improvements in pharmaceutical production, including the manufacture of critical vaccines and pharmaceutical ingredients.”

One of the pressing challenges in the health sector is the lack of access to basic medical equipment in primary healthcare facilities. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), only 41% of such facilities had access to such equipment in 2018. Additionally, many health facilities suffer from inadequate access to electricity, water, and sanitation, affecting the quality of healthcare services provided.

The Health Development Bank aims to address these issues by supporting infrastructure provision and upgrades in health facilities, fostering an enabling environment for quality healthcare delivery. This, in turn, will reduce the need for medical tourism, saving the country over $1 billion annually.

Onyekpere said: “The bank will be instrumental in improving Nigeria’s pharmaceutical industry, which currently heavily relies on imports. By providing funds for infrastructure, technology, and human resource development, the bank can stimulate local production of critical pharmaceuticals and vaccines, enhancing the nation’s health security.”

The proposal also emphasizes the need to invest in the health workforce to bridge the significant gaps in healthcare personnel. Nigeria’s doctor-to-patient ratio is far below the desired levels, and the country needs an additional 149,700 doctors to achieve the ideal 1 doctor to 1000 patients ratio. The Health Development Bank would develop a human resource loan scheme to facilitate the training and development of essential healthcare professionals.

If approved and implemented, the Health Development Bank has the potential to transform Nigeria’s healthcare landscape, increasing access to quality healthcare, generating jobs, improving tax revenue, and enhancing the nation’s GDP contribution.

The proposal is set to be submitted to the National Assembly for consideration, and stakeholders in the health sector are eagerly awaiting the outcome. Experts believe that the establishment of a Health Development Bank could be the much-needed boost that Nigeria’s health sector requires to reach its full potential and deliver world-class healthcare services to its citizens.

READ ALSO: https://dailypost.ng/2023/08/02/niger-tribunal-set-to-give-ruling-on-17-petitions-445-exhibits/

Earlier, CSJ’s Programme Manager, Public Finance, Dr Chidi Sundayson, during a paper presentation on “Sugar & Sweetened Beverage (SSB) tax as Alternative Source of Healthcare Funding,” estimated that an SSB tax in Nigeria has the potential to generate approximately 1% of the country’s GDP, equivalent to USD 4.77 billion. This revenue could significantly contribute to funding the health sector and strengthening healthcare and health systems in the nation.

Sundayson said “In light of Nigeria’s current revenue challenges and mounting debt burden, adopting the SSB tax as an alternative funding source is a critical consideration. By ploughing back the resources generated from the tax into the health sector, transparency and accountability can be ensured through well-designed systems for tax collection and administration.”

He added that SSB tax offers a promising opportunity to bridge the funding gap and improve healthcare for all Nigerians. With the Sustainable Development Goals still seven years away, decisive action is required to make significant strides towards better health outcomes.

NGO Launches Draft Bill on Proposed Health Development Bank of Nigeria

Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Health

US, in 2023 Commits $600 million to Health in Nigeria

Published

on

US, in 2023 Commits $600 million to Health in Nigeria

By: Michael Mike

The United States has committed $20 billion into various health programmes in Africa, it said on Wednesday.

A released by the United States Embassy in Nigeria also revealed that: “In 2023 alone, the United States invested over $600 million in health assistance in Nigeria,” with U.S. partnerships on health in Nigeria saving millions of lives, strengthened health systems, and better prepared Nigeria and the region for current and future health security threats.

The release stated that: “The following are the facts about U.S. government partnership with Nigeria for health now and in the future: Preventing Malaria: Malaria threatens more than half the world’s population and claims the life of a child every minute, and the United States, together with our global partners, has helped save more than 11.7 million lives and prevented 2 billion malaria infections globally.

“Malaria is a leading cause of death in Nigeria, but malaria deaths in Nigeria have fallen by 55 percent since 2000. To advance Nigeria’s national. strategy to counter malaria, since 2011, the U.S. President’s Malaria Initiative (PMI) has taken steps to prevent illness and death by providing: Nearly 83 million insecticide-treated bed nets; 22 million malaria preventive treatments in pregnancy; 164 million fast acting malaria medicines; Insecticide to spray 121,000 homes; Over 102 million rapid diagnostic tests for malaria.

“Ending HIV: About 39 million people live with HIV globally, including an estimated 2 million in Nigeria. The United States and Nigeria are focused on ending HIV as a public health threat by 2030. The U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) has expanded HIV treatment and reduced HIV transmissions, saving more than 25 million lives in more than 50 partner countries over the past two decades and giving over 1.6 million Nigerians access to antiretroviral therapy. In Nigeria, PEPFAR has invested a total of more than $8.3 billion in the national HIV response.

“In 2023, PEPFAR resources supported:
Over 12 million people with HIV counseling and testing services; More than 2 million pregnant women with HIV counseling and testing services to prevent mother-to-child transmission of HIV; More than 1.8 million people living with HIV with TB/HIV services; More than 1.5 million orphans and vulnerable children with care and
support services

“Delivering Vaccines: During the COVID-19 pandemic, the United States helped Nigeria vaccinate 70 percent of its eligible populations. The U.S. government supports Nigeria to control, eliminate, and eradicate other vaccine-preventable diseases as well. Through technical expertise and programmatic support, the United States collaborates with international and local partners to strengthen immunization systems and expand routine vaccine delivery.

“In the course of these efforts, the U.S. government has: Donated 44 million doses of COVID vaccine; Supported vaccination of 2,145,063 children for polio in security-compromised areas, helping Nigeria become certified free of wild poliovirus in 2020; Supported introduction of four new vaccines for children, including
rotavirus, IPV2, measles, and HPV.

“Advancing Global Health Security: The COVID-19 pandemic, as well as Ebola, mpox, and other outbreaks in the country and region, has shown the devastating impacts of infectious disease on health, economies, and societies. Together, the United States and Nigeria are working to strengthen health security capacities. Several U.S. government agencies partner with the Nigerian government to prevent, detect, respond to, and recover from emerging public health threats. Through these collaborations, we are protecting the health of Nigerians, Americans, and people across the globe. Key activities in Nigeria include: Establishing a Public Health Emergency Management Program that has trained 55 national and subnational emergency managers who have responded to seven priority outbreaks; Enhancing Nigeria’s national disease surveillance systems, by training more than 800 epidemiologists and scientists to promote global best practices; Developing Nigeria’s laboratory diagnostics to test for Ebola, mpox, yellow fever, measles, Lassa fever, cholera, and cerebrospinal meningitis, thus strengthening Nigeria’s ability to quickly detect and respond to outbreaks.”

US, in 2023 Commits $600 million to Health in Nigeria

Continue Reading

Health

Lassa Fever: FG Launches National Deratisation Exercise

Published

on

Lassa Fever: FG Launches National Deratisation Exercise

By: Michael Mike

The Hon Minister of State for Environment Dr. Iziaq Adekunle Salako has launched the National Deratization framework exercise to prevent and control the spread of Lassa fever in the Country.

The Minister who was respresented by the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Environment, Mahmud Kambari while briefing the Press in Abuja stated that ‘I stand to provide an update on the recent outbreak of Lassa Fever reported by 44 Army Referral Hospital in Kaduna State and subsequent spread of the disease in the state ‘.

He said the meeting with the State Emergency Response Team (SERT), has provided the etiological pattern of the disease. 12 suspected cases was recorded with 6 mortality, 2 additional cases originated from another facility in Barau Dikko Hospital , while 92 persons are under surveillance as contact person, adding that the team has visited the affected facility (44 Army Referral Hospital) on 25th of February 2024 which gathered information as follows:

The general hygiene and cleanliness of the hospital was assessed as well as measures put in place to prevent the spread of the disease through disinfection and decontamination were both deemed effective and found adequate.

The team further confirmed the efficacy of the treatment by using an ITP machine and use of sodium hydrochloride in correct proportion and formulation to ensure safety of the facility.

The team recommended that the facility be deratized to reduce the population of the disease carrying vector, specifically rats.

He noted that our’s in the Environment Sector is to provide solution, make the environment safe and unconducive for the vector to grow because it is responsible for the disease.

The Registrar, Environmental Health Council of Nigeria (EHCON), Dr. Yakubu Baba Muhammad reiterated that the Minister’s directives on all the facilities whether public or private should undergo derating exercise for examples hotels, markets, restaurants and recreation centres after which they will be issued Derating Exemption Certificate by EHCON.

Dr. Yakubu disclosed that the ministry has directed the Council to embark on massive capacity building to update the knowledge of the practioners on the new innovations, new approaches to control and address the disease.

He added that component of health education, promotion and creation of awareness in the communities also plays an important role.

“At the community level, the issue of waste management cannot be over emphasized. At this time and period, reminant food should not be exposed while our food stuff and stores should be rats proof. In the character of rats once there is no food, rats vacates the house”. He added

He further emphasized that another approach to combat the spread of this disease is by getting to the grassroot, its a collective responsibility as government is doing their job, citizens should do their parts.

He also said farmers using roads for drying farm products should be discouraged from doing so because this gives rats to come and urinate, defecate; passing feaces that contains the virus that causes disease and contamination of the food.

Yakubu warned that our communities should reduce or stop taking bush meat, saying is not healthy for now because the virus has residual effect even after the death of the animal.

Lassa Fever: FG Launches National Deratisation Exercise

Continue Reading

Health

Establishment of Oncology, Nuclear Medicine Centres In Six Nigerian Teaching Hospitals: The Exclusion of UMTH

Published

on

Establishment of Oncology, Nuclear Medicine Centres In Six Nigerian Teaching Hospitals: The Exclusion of UMTH

By: Yusuf Adamu

The president approval in setting up these centres across the nation is a welcome development and it will go along way in improving the healthcare service delivery which can be viewed as the path towards achieving the renewed hope.
The following institutions marked for the establishment of oncology and nuclear medicine centres include:

(1) University of Benin Teaching Hospital
(2) Ahmadu Bello University Teaching Hospital
(3) University of Nigeria (Nsukka) Teaching Hospital
(4) Federal Teaching Hospital, Katsina
(5) University of Jos Teaching Hospital
(6) Lagos University Teaching Hospital.”
In addition, within same approval, other institutions are to benefit from the expansion projects in the area of radiology, clinical pathology, medical and radiation oncology, and cardiac catheterization. This include as follows:
(1) North-West: Reference Hospital, Kaduna — (Radiology, clinical pathology, medical and radiation oncology)
(2) South-East: Medical Diagnostic Centre Complex, Enugu — (Radiology, clinical pathology, medical & radiation oncology)
(3) North-West: Usman Danfodiyo University Teaching Hospital, Sokoto — (Diagnostic and intervention radiology, clinical pathology, and cardiac catheterisation)
(4) South-West: University College Hospital, Ibadan — (Diagnostic and intervention radiology, clinical pathology, and cardiac catheterization)
(5) South-South: University of Uyo Teaching Hospital — (Radiology and clinical pathology)
(6) North-East: Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University Teaching Hospital, Bauchi — (Radiology and clinical pathology)
(7) South-South: Federal Medical Centre, Asaba — (Radiology and clinical pathology)
(8) North-Central: Harmony Advanced Diagnostic Centre Complex, Ilorin — (Radiology and clinical pathology)
(9) North-Central: Jos University Teaching Hospital — (Radiology and clinical pathology)
(10) North-East: Federal Medical Centre, Nguru — (Radiology and clinical pathology).
The exclusion of University of Maiduguri from this critical project is worrisome owing to the fact that it has served a citadel of knowledge in this field and has trained specialist this fields. The institution has significantly served as a point of call to a lot of cancer cases across the country (Kano, Yobe, Bauchi etc) and has performed well. As currently, I have 2 cases of it from other states which they are currently receiving treatment at UMTH. More so, on need basis in only Maiduguri MMC according to the Maiduguri Cancer Registry (2016) recorded about 262 cancer cases in a year and this has been on the increase owing to the influx of patients from other states. One fact remains that that the UMTH has done well in this aspect. Therefore, it’s inclusion of it would go along boast their performance.

However, the inclusion of ATBU teaching hospital is a benefactor of the Minister owing to the fact that the minister home town. But the question is what has been the cases of Cancer Bauchi and its environs? Consequently, need basis, relevance and other key factors needs to be considered in the future when selecting such an important project so that the benefit of it can be realised to an optimal level.
Hence forth, synergy between key or principal officers in the Health sector is cogent in marking out institutions to benefit from such a strategic projects.

Hon. Yusuf Adamu is the former political adviser to then governor of Borno state and current VP Kashim Shettima

Establishment of Oncology, Nuclear Medicine Centres In Six Nigerian Teaching Hospitals: The Exclusion of UMTH

Continue Reading

Trending