GOMBE – A coalition of civil society has called on the Gombe State Government to increase its budgetary allocation to the health sector.
The coalition, Maternal, New-Born and Child Health Coalition (MNCHC) and Media Platform, made the appeal in a statement issued on Wednesday after a budget analysis of the state’s health allocation between 2010 and 2014.
It urged for increased funding especially as it concerns polio immunisation and nutrition activities in the state.
The coalition observed that the state government allocation to the health sector was inadequate compared to the growing population in the state, which is put at 3.2 per cent rate.
According to the statement, though there is budget on nutrition, such allocations are grossly inadequate.
“There is Nutrition Line budget but the allocation is grossly inadequate considering the rate of malnutrition and also bearing in mind that Care and Management of Acute Malnutrition (CMAM) only operates in three of the 11 local government areas of the state.
“There is non-release of funds budgeted for Nutrition over the past three years.
“The influx of the internally displaced persons, especially to the CMAM focal Local Government Area (Nafada) which shares a border town with the states affected by the insurgency further exacerbates the growing concern of children especially under five.
“More allocation should also be made to RMNCH (Reproductive, Maternal, New-born Child Health) to complement the free maternal services in the state to take care of the growing population of women of child bearing age,” it said.
The statement, which was jointly signed by Alhaji Alhassan Yahaya and Mr Iliya Habila, for MNCHC and Media Platform, respectively, further called on the government to accord the Abuja 2011 declaration a top priority by allocating 15 per cent of the state’s annual budget to health.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the coalition analysed the annual allocations for healthcare, release of funds, and free maternal services, Nutrition and Routine Immunisation in the state for five years. (NAN)
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