26 April 2016
At the launch of the “Make Naija Stronger” campaign, Health experts said the healthcare in Nigeria was very pathetic and even concluded that the country has no public health system.
The “Make Naija Strong” is an initiative of the anti-poverty organisations and other partners such as the Africa Health, Human and Social Development (Afri-Dev) to demand that the Nigerian government fulfills its promise of allocating 15 per cent of its budget to health during the Abuja Declaration 15 years ago. On April 25, 2001 governments of African countries met in Abuja, and agreed to increase health spending to 15 per cent of their national budgets.
“Currently, Nigeria has no public health system,” said Rotimi Sankore, coordinator of Afri-Dev. “It does not exist. There is a skeleton and intention but it does not exist. Let’s stop deceiving ourselves; what we have now is the normalisation of death.”
“Nigeria has the fourth highest maternal mortality ratio in Africa,” he said. “In fact, we are worse than South Sudan and Somalia. There is another way to look at the situation we are in. Nigeria is third in maternal death risk in Africa. We are only better than Sierra Leone and Chad. Almost a million children under five die every year from preventable diseases.”
Mr. Sankore called on government to urgently ramp up investment in health facilities.
The speakers urged the government to fulfill the Abuja promise. Doing this according to singer Waje who is a campaigner of the initiative, would make a difference for millions of Nigerians who die needlessly from lack of access to basic healthcare.