By Adam Alqali
The Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre, CISLAC, one of the implementing NGOs of the Partnership for Advocacy in Child and Family Health, PACFaH, has sued for the implementation of the 2001 Abuja Declaration, by the federal and state governments in Nigeria.
The Abuja Declarations and Frameworks for Action on Roll Back Malaria was a pledge made by member states of the African Union (including Nigeria) during a conference held in Abuja, the Nigerian capital, in 2001. In the declaration, AU member states pledged to increase their annual budgetary allocation to health sector to at least, 15% as well as requested donor countries to also increase their support.
“Allocating 15% of annual budget to health is a pledge made by Nigeria, even though the 15% is still not enough considering the enormous challenges in the country’s health sector, I believe it is a good starting point,” said Chioma Kanu, a programmes officer at the Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre, CISLAC, while speaking during a media dissemination exercise for the analysis of the 2016 federal and Kano state health budgets, held Wednesday in Kano.
“Moreover, the National Health Act was passed 2 years ago; however, the state governments are yet to domesticate it. Our governments should understand the need to spend more on health. The media and civil society should continue their advocacy on the need to increase budgetary allocation to health, by insisting governments abide by all the international and local obligations they have signed on to.”
Also speaking at the event, Aanu Rotimi, a programme officer at the Health Reform Foundation of Nigeria, HERFON, one of the implementing NGOs for the PACFaH project, said investment in health sector meant reduction in maternal and child mortality which she also said had direct bearing on the economic development of Nigeria.
“Health is a right as such governments are under obligation to protect the healthy wellbeing of their people by committing, at least, 15% of their annual budgets to the health sector, as contained in the Abuja Declaration,” she said
Adama Kachalla is the project officer in charge of the PACFaH project at the Federation of Muslim Women Organisations of Nigeria, FOMWAN, which is also one of the implementing NGOs for the Partnership for Advocacy in Child and Family Health, PACFaH. She said child spacing, which was aimed at ensuring the healthy wellbeing of both the mother and her child, was also allowed in Islam adding that there were Quranic verses supporting it.
PACFaH, a 3-year project being implemented by 7 Nigerian indigenous NGOs is focused on four thematic areas including treatment of childhood pneumonia and diarrhea; family planning; routine immunization as well as nutrition. It is being anchored by the Development Research and Projects Centre, dRPC, a non-profit social enterprise.