World Health Day: Physician Seeks Effective Monitoring Of Health Projects

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General Physician, Dr Tunji Akintade, has appealed to the Federal Government to ensure concerted efforts are in place for proper monitoring of released funds for health projects.

Former Chairman, Association of Nigerian Private Medical Practitioners (ANPMP), Akintade said this in an interview in Lagos ahead of World Health Day celebration on Sunday.

World Health Day, is celebrated annually on 7 April, marks the anniversary of the constitution of the World Health Organisation (WHO), and its quest to improve populations’ access to essential health services.

This year’s theme: “My health, my right” reaffirms WHO’s stance that health is a right for all people, not a privilege.

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The theme seeks to champion the right of everyone, everywhere to have access to quality health services, education, and information, as well as safe drinking water.

Akintade said that the government should ensure 75 per cent of released funds was spent on improving access to quality healthcare services rather than infrastructure.

“That’s the reason why the health sector is not growing rapidly and the impact of quality healthcare services is not felt by the majority of citizens,” he said.

Akintade advocated that health sector projects should be private-sector driven to achieve better outcomes and ensure that healthcare resources are effectively utilised.

“For instance, the federal government has approved N25 billion for facility financing and workforce incentives for states, asides that other funds had also been released under the Basic Health Care Provision Fund (BHCPF).

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“The question is, what was done with all these funds previously released for PHCs development.“If we don’t have effective monitoring in our system, we will keep repeating payments for a particular project.

“It is concerning that the huge amount of funds released by the federal government has not translated to access to quality healthcare services for citizens and tangible health development across states,” he added.

According to him, health insurance should be strengthened to reduce financial hardship faced by citizens due to out-of-pocket health spending.

Akintade urged the three levels of government to ensure that health budgetary allocation and release align with the 15 per cent Abuja Declaration.

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He appealed to state governments to expedite actions to improve access to clean and safe water to mitigate the health risk associated with consumption of unsafe water, especially as rain and flooding are bringing waterborne diseases to communities.

He stressed that the government should deploy a holistic approach to ensure it fulfills its commitment to scale-up efforts to build and strengthen quality, people-centred, sustainable, and resilient health systems.

 

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