The Federal Government has disbused N101billion to 7,600 primary health care facilities from the Basic Healcare Provision Fund (BHPF).
Dr Chris Isokpunwu, Secretary of the Ministerial Oversight committee, for BHCPF, in the Ministry of Health made this known in Abuja at a two-day retreat organised by the Health Sector Reform Coalition (HSRC) in Abuja.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the retreat was supported by Africa Health Budget Network (AHBN) and other partners.
NAN reports that the BHCPF was designed as an earmarked Fund to be financed from not less than one per cent of the Consolidated Revenue Fund (CRF) of the Federal Government and other sources including donors’ contributions.
Isokpunwu said that the BHCPF gets 100 per cent release from the federal government.
”The funds have so far been disbursed to over 7, 600 primary health care facilities across the country.
“We received our release up to October . This accounts to about 83 per cent of the total funds that will be released this year.
“We have also made progress in the enrolment of the number of beneficiaries as well as in the disbursement of funds to over 7,600 primary health care facilities across the country.
“While we may not regard the enrolment of beneficiaries or the disbursement of funds to health facilities as an achievement, we believe that we begin to feel the impact of this funding.
“That is where the coalition comes in to ensure accountability of the fundis at all levels, supporting the government to block all leakages. We urge those who are involved in the pilfering of resources to stop,” he explained.
He also said that under the BHCPF , funds are made available to the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) to ensure that some funding gets to the states to promote the activities of the emergency operation centres.
The states, he stated, also needs to provide their counterpart to do that.
He, urged CSOs to continue to advocate for increased funding for health across all levels of government
“It is true that the budget office of the federation has said that the federal ministry of health keeps returning funds and there is no basis for asking for more. But we know that there is a lot that needs to be done with money in the health sector.
“The BHCPF, the creation of the National Health Act promises to be a game changer in the health sector if there is increased funding.
”We all agree that the primary health care facilities are the first point of call for all Nigerians. But why is it that with all the funding and resources that we are committing to primary health care, the results are not changing?
“Maternal mortality is still high, under-five mortality is still high and in fact, neonatal mortality refuses to move anywhere. Either it is stagnant or it continues to go up.
“We realise that the human resource for health in the primary healthcare system is poor, we also realise that the quality of services delivered in the primary health care is also poor.
“What can the coalition do to strengthen that system to deliver quality health services to Nigerians?
”We need to prepare for the next pandemic. It is a matter of time before we will be faced with another pandemic.
“Is our health system able to stand and face the next pandemic? The Coalition can set agenda for government and also push the government to continue to build infrastructure for such situation,” he questioned.
Earlier, the Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the HSRC, Dr Idris Muhammed, said that the retreat was meant to address some pertinent issues including finalising the development of an appropriate Charter for the coalition.
Muhammed said that the retreat would also develop a two-year costed workplan for the coalition.
“More importantly to enable us to develop sustainable funding sources and pathways for the coalition which we believe is very key if the coalition must pursue its objectives,” he said.
The retreat, he said, also aims to develop an agenda for the coalition’s activities especially, in keeping with the Nigeria Health Sector Reform initiative.
NAN reports that BHCPF) was established under section 11 of the National Health Act as a catalytic funding to improve access to primary health care.
The BHCPF is a federal and state funded initiative,it is a component of the National Health Act of 2014, which called for better investment within the health sector. It was signed into the 2019 fiscal budget by President Muhammadu Buhari in 2018.
BHCPF will provide free minimum basic healthcare to the poorest and most vulnerable Nigerians through accredited Primary Health Centres (PHCs) in each of the 36 states and federal capital territory. (NAN)
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