From Taiwo Oluwadare, Ibadan
funds allocated to health by the Oyo State Government have reportedly come down to about 2.9 percent. This was revealed during the recent legislative advocacy retreat for members of the House of Assembly on increased domestic funding for health especially child and family health issues held in Oyo town. A health programme officer, Miss. Anu Rotimi, stated this at the retreat.
She described health sector as the driver of economic development: “There are financial challenges before the health workers occasioned by under funding of the sector. The retreat is also to advocate with policy makers in ensuring that health sector is prioritize in the 2017 budget.
“Many materials and drugs administer to patients are imported and are now expensive due to exchange rate while increase in population on the other hand don’t make the limited materials, health workers and drugs circulated to all needed areas.
“This is a reason we are organizing this retreat to advocate for increase in health sector budget and ensure the issue of child and family planning is prioritized in the budget and given considerable percentage from the allocated funds.”
Deputy Speaker, Musah Abdulwasi said a bill has been pending in the house for two and a half weeks: “The focus of this bill is to make health care available to everyone in the state especially at the grassroots. We have passed bills on health insurance and other health related matters because health is wealth. While the primary health bill has gone through first and second reading, the bill is presently with the appropriation committee to pass it into law.
“After the discuss on the bill, the committee will have three or four working days to submit reports before the house and I am assuring you that in the next two weeks, the bill will be passed into law.”
Commissioner for Health, Dr. Azeez Adeduntan, said Governor Abiola Ajimobi approved the establishment of an agency on August 28, 2015, in line with the resolution 29th of the 54th National Council on Health (NCH) meeting in May, 2011. He added that the agency achieved significant milestones since its establishment:
“This has I must say has been achieved through the support of the State government, development partners, community based organizations, and the good people of Oyo State”, he said.
Representative of the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), Ada Ezeogu, said the organization is looking forward with expectation of a well infrastructure, medicine funding and evidence based policies that a primary health care entails as she congratulated the state government on the initiative and urge it to come up with workable plans to make the scheme fruitful.
Representative of World Health Organization (WHO), Dr. Kolude Olufunmilola, congratulated the state government on the laudable programme. She said it will fast track health care development where people in the state and community level can partner in the programme and reduce fragmentation among health agencies to harmonize their efforts to yield better results.