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HomeEbonyi State DiaryFoundation seeks more funding for health sector in Ebonyi -From- Paulinus Ogbonna...

Foundation seeks more funding for health sector in Ebonyi -From- Paulinus Ogbonna Abakaliki

A Civil Society Organisation, Development Integrity Goal Foundation (DIG -F) has called for proper funding for the health sector in the state.

The foundation made the call on Tuesday in Abakaliki during a public sensitisation roadwork to create public awareness on the need for government to ensure that capital budgets for the funding of health sector were released.

Chief Olive Aja, the executive director of the DIG-Foundation addressing participants, said that the public campaign was designed to sensitise the public and other critical stakeholders in the state on the poor state of the health sector in Ebonyi.

Aja said that the previous administrations in the state did not fully release funds approved for the health sector as contained in the various annual budgets, hence, the foundation was demanding that the present administration should release funds approved for the system.

The public campaign was organised by ‘Green-The-Red-Health Sector Cluster’ in collaboration with DIG with support from the United Agency for International Development (USAID).

Aja said that the result of USAID State2State 2020 report conducted in 171 Primary Healthcare facilities by the state Ministry of Health indicated a poor state of public health facilities in the state.

According to him, the report done in collaboration with Health Policy Plus showed that 96 per cent of the Primary Healthcare facilities needed various degrees of renovations.

The report further noted that 46 per cent of the facilities has no fence, while 35 per cent has no forms of power supply with 47 per cent of them without alternative power supply.

According to the group, only 40 per cent of the facilities has functional toilet, but no good waste management while 55 per cent has no sources of water supply in the facilities and described it as worrisome.

“Today, we are advocating for capital budget release for the health sector and we are engaging in public campaign to seek for your support for government to be releasing funds meant for the health sector, especially the capital budget.

“So, we are asking the present administration to begin to ‘green -the – red’ and stop the non release of funds for the health sector that happened in the previous administration.”

The foundation explained that Ebonyi was yet to fulfill the 2001 Abuja declaration of allocating 15 per cent of its annual budget to health sector adding that only the Ebonyi Health Insurance Authority (EBSHIA) accessed a little percentage of its budget releases.

“Ebonyi has never fulfilled the 2001 Abuja declaration of allocating 15 per cent budget to health, and budget releases for the sector.

“For instance, ministry of health has less than 1 per cent annual capital budget release in 2022, Ebonyi State Primary Health Care Development Agency (EBSPHCDA) and other sister agencies/Institutions had 0 per cent capital budget performances in 2022 and 2024 first quarter.

“The Primary Health Care facilities in Ebonyi also has challenges of inadequate manpower, some dilapidated and non-existence of some infrastructures among others, resulting to high out-of-pocket expenditure for vulnerable groups coupled with poor healthcare services.

“The result of USAID State2State baseline of 2020 also confirmed the 2019 baseline survey conducted in 171 Primary Healthcare Facilities by Ebonyi Ministry of Health in collaboration with HP Plus.

Our forrespondent reports that roadwork had in attendance members of the Ebonyi House of Assembly Committee on Health, members of the CSOs, media practitioners and faith based organisations.

The roadwork commenced from the International Conference Centre (ICC), through Sam Egwu Way; New Market Road, Gunning Road to Water Works Road and back to the ICC. ENDS//

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