National President, Nigeria Medical Association, NMA, Dr. Kayode Obembe, has raised the alarm over the country’s poor health sector, noting that it ranks among the poorest in ‎the world.
He added that despite the fact that the National Health Act has reached implementation stage, there are two major obstacles of the law, which he said should be remedied.
Obembe disclosed this in Ilorin, the Kwara State capital during NMA’s National Executive Council meeting in Ilorin entitled: “National Health Agenda: Purpose, Means and Targets”‎ held at the weekend.
According to him, “The life expectancy is 54 years, 630 pregnant women die for every 100,000 live births while 88 infants die for every 1,000 live births in Nigeria.
“These two obstacles are the counterpart funding and funds being paid into state accounts. With these two obstacles, it is clear that the community and grassroots population can muster enough counter-part funding to access the Consolidated Revenue Fund.
‎”State governments may allegedly divert the funds to other areas that may not directly be related to health. ‎Emergency service has been provided for in the National Health Act and hospitals have to be mapped out with facilities made available to handle emergencies particularly road traffic accidents which have now reached epidemic proportions in Nigeria.”
He added that, “It is pertinent to note that in order to achieve the Universal Health Coverage, the whole country should be mapped out into ‘health blocks’ containing roughly 5,000 enrolees and managed by a medical practitioner, or where this is not available, a community health
extension worker.
“Referral pathway would be established ab-initio to transfer the patient to secondary and tertiary level healthcare as
they case may be.”
Earlier, the Kwara State Chairman of NMA, Dr. Abubakar Ayinla, had said the health sector had not been spared of the challenges of the past where poverty pervaded Nigeria.
According to him, health resources were mal-distributed, motivation of the health work-force was faced with innumerable setbacks that made strikes inevitable.
He stated that as a result, investments in infrastructural development became less impactful leading to health care indicators falling below acceptable values.