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Ebonyi committed to funding health sector for improved service delivery – Nwifuru

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.Solicits private partnership, health care agencies

 

Jacob Ogodo Abakaliki

 

Ebonyi State Governor, Chief Francis Ogbonna Nwifuru  has reiterated the commitment of his administration towards adequate funding of the health sector for improved service delivery to the people and solicits private partnerships, and cooperation of healthcare agencies to achieve the goal.

 

Nwifuru spoke in a policy dialogue on health sector financing in the state organised by Nigeria State Accountability, Transparency and Effectiveness ( State2State) Activity.

 

Represented by Dr. Sabinus Nwibo, Special Assistant to the Governor on primary health, Governor Nwifuru explained that healthcare delivery was number 2 in his people’s charter of needs and he will continue to put in his best in the health sector for quality delivery to the people.

 

“All the activities of the governor are centred on health. Of course, the first approval the governor made was the recruitment of 39 doctors, 39 nurses, 39 pharmacists, 39 mad-lab scientists, 39 optometrists, and 39 health assistants all these put together toward boosting the health indices of the state hospitals. And to ensure easy Mobility, he bought SUV cars for them.

 

“Before now primary health care has not been getting budget but since this government, in 2024 budget primary health got 1 billion in their budget which hasn’t been Exhausted, the general hospitals have billions of nairas for use, primary health care specifically have about 1 billion mapped out for them what is left for us is to map out those activities that we will use to utilise the fund.

 

On the National Percentage Declaration on health, governor Nwifuru said, “Ebonyi will reach the Abuja 15% health coverage reason being that currently, the people’s charter of needs which is about 20, health is number 2 which means the government has made healthcare a priority. It’s left for us to draft out the areas that need government touch and present to him for action.

We hope that next year’s health budget will be bigger than this year’s budget”.

 

He further said, “In as much as the government is doing a lot, private investors should come in to assist the government in funding health because just the way diseases are numerous it is difficult in funding to meet up to 100%, to meet up from the challenges of health that is why we have carried advocacy visits to individuals like national assembly members that in their constituency project, they should include health and carry along the downtrodden and enrolled them in programmes like health insurance scheme because it is a way of assisting them because most of them cannot afford quality health care in the rural areas.”

 

“Ebonyi government is ready to give 100% support to health so far as it will impact the people positively and it is part of the people’s charter of needs. He said.

 

 

Stakeholders during the dialogue including Dr. James Okata, Mr. Igboji Jonathan, and Hon Nkemka Okoro from the state House Assembly among others identified low budget and inadequate human resources for health as some of the challenges in the health sector. They noted that primary health care under one roof was very important for the state health sector to improve.

 

They recommended that statistics of health workers in the state should be reviewed to ascertain the number of health workers that are needed in various health centres across the state.

 

The stakeholders emphasised the need for the government to fund the health sector in the state even as they called on civil society organisations to join hands by carrying out advocacy on the areas necessary for funding and monitoring.

 

Dr Sam Onyia, Ebonyi State2State Team Lead in a remark urged the stakeholders to work assiduously to bridge the gaps for better healthcare management provision in the state.

 

There were presentations on Human Resources Health in Ebonyi primary health care system: current status, gaps, and funding challenges by the State2State local government manager, Ebere Eze and Financing of drug revolving fund, challenges and opportunities by Chibueze Nwonye the State2State public finance management specialist.

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