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Release more funds to health sector, PACFaH urges Lagos govt

Lagos State Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu

A non-governmental organisation, the Partnership for Advocacy in Child and Family Health at Scale (PACFaH), has called on the Lagos state government to ensure full and timely releases of allocations to the health sector.

PACFaH gave the charge on Tuesday when its officials led by Major General Shina Ogunbiyi, paid a courtesy visit to the state’s Ministry of Health.

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They were received by the permanent secretary, Lagos state ministry of Health, Dr Titilayo Goncalves.

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“In 2018, Lagos state allocated N92.676 billion or 9% of the total budget to the health sector but released only N21.315 billion or 23% of the allocated sum. It is our pray for full and timely releases of allocations to the health sector,” General Ogunbiyi said.

He said the visit is a response to government’s commitment to improving its performance in the health sector while pledging to offer its support to the Lagos State Government to address the unmet needs for family planning in the state which has increased by 4.7% over the last five years.

According to the PACFaH official, services are not able to keep pace for the demands of women seeking family planning methods.

He added that with the teaming population of Lagos state, expanded coverage under the Lagos State Health Insurance Scheme will remain a challenge with adequate and sustainable inflows of funds.

The PACFaH team also noted that optimal coverage for Routine Immunization in Lagos state will also remain a challenge without full implementation of the Primary Health Care Under One Roof policy.

Ogunbiyi however commended the Lagos State Government for its recent achievements in the health sector, as data from 2018 Demographic Health Survey shows that Lagos State is a pacesetter in the health sector.

Daily Trust reports that from the survey, Lagos state emerged number one amongst the 36 states of the federation with the highest percentage of women (80%) delivering by skilled birth attendants in the country, the highest percentage (21%) of women using modern family planning, the lowest % of children under 5 with no vaccinations (1.7%) in the country and the lowest % of children (0.4%) presenting with severe anaemia in Nigeria.

He hinted that Lagos state is ready to roll out the Basic Health Care Provision Fund, having provided its counterpart funding and ready to scale up the state’s Health Insurance Scheme.

In his remarks, the permanent secretary Lagos state ministry of health, Dr Titilayo Goncalves said: “health is wealth, we have a listening governor and I can assure that health will get some priority.”

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