ENOCH STEPHEN – The Nigerian health care system has continued to be counted among the underdeveloped ones.
This has been a continuous trend as the country’s health system keeps recording very slow progress.
Although Nigeria was successful in its fight against the Ebola virus and recorded quite a minimal death rate during the first wave of the covid-19 pandemic, the county is still faced with serious health challenges.
An issue which peaks the numerous challenges the country faces is in terms of funding. It is no news that Nigerian health facilities are underfunded and they entire system isn’t fully ready to squarely combat epidemics or pandemics, as the case is currently.
Among the potent ways to combat issues that pose serious threats to public health is through health security.
Health security, a concept that requires both proactive and reactivates measures to minimize the dangers and impact of problems causes by unforeseen outbreaks is a solution, as adequate releases and optimum utilization of this concept proves effective.
In an effort to see a rapid utilization to ultimately ensure releases and effective use of the newly created budget line for epidemic preparedness and response in Kano State, the Legislative Initiative for Sustainable Development (LISDEL) engaged CSOs, Media, and officials from selected Ministries in Kano, on ‘strengthening domestic financing for health security’ with a focus on Maximizing the Epidemic Preparedness and Response (EPR) Budget Execution.
According to Muhammad Shu’aibu, the State Program Officer LISDEL and Global Health Advocacy Incubator (GHAI), “what we seek to do is to ensure that funding for EPR is increased, and we now have an approved budget for EPR in the state which is commendable. What we have done is to engage officially from the ministry of planning and budget, finance and others, to see that there is an ease in the accessibility of funds for EPR in Kano”.
He further stated that adequate releases of funds for EPR will ensure that activities are carried out as planned adding that accessibility and releases of funds are far important than just having a budget line adding that CSOs and the Media will play an instrumental role in their coming advocacies and engagements to the government.
Hajiya Amina Musa the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Health representing the Commissioner revealed to Newsmen that the government effort towards consistent funding of EPR in the state has been done through the creation of health parastatals in the state which according to her has helped the populace of the state.