Stakeholders, NGOs Tasks FG On COVID-19, Health Security Expenditure

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COVID-19 variants
The coordinator, African Health Budget Network, Dr. Aminu Magashi.

Stakeholders in the health sector, including non-governmental organizations, have called on the Federal Government through the Federal Ministry of Health and Federal Ministry of Finance to publish 2020, 2021 and 2022 COVID-19 and health security expenditure reports. 

This call was contained in a statement signed by the coordinator, African Health Budget Network (AHBN), Dr. Aminu Magashi at the end of a two-day retreat to review draft national and states’ scorecards yesterday (August 10, 2022) in Abuja.  

Magashi said that the scorecards were on reproductive, maternal, newborn, child, adolescent and elderly health plus nutrition (RMNCAEH+N), COVID-19 and health security accountability, organised by the AHBN, in Lagos. 

He said that the stakeholders also advocated the strengthening of a national financing mechanism and multi-sectoral coordination and collaboration for health security, including COVID-19 recovery as a response to public health emergencies in the country.  

The AHBN coordinator said that they further recommended that the Nigerian government strengthen coordinated surveillance systems in the animal health and public health sectors for zoonotic diseases/pathogens identified as joint priorities, in line with the ‘One Health Approach’ approach. 

“Other recommendations of the stakeholders include the call to the Federal Government to support states in strengthening state crisis communication teams and community involvement for factual public information on COVID-19 that will increase uptake of vaccines.  

“The government should ensure adequate COVID-19 vaccines available to all the 36 states of the federation and the FCT and support poor performing states to increase vaccines’ uptake and reduce hesitancy. 

“Also, the Federal Government should support relevant government agencies for the development of innovative ways to monitor/track allocation, donors’ support, loans and government releases for health security and COVID-19,” he said.  

Magashi quoted Dr. Mohammed Abbas of the department of medical microbiology and parasitology, Bayero University Kano, as saying that it is worrisome that 60 per cent of infectious diseases come from zoonotic sources.  

“It is also the source of three out of every four new or emerging infectious diseases in humans.  “This calls for urgent attention by the Federal Government to ensure the availability of coordinated surveillance systems in the animal and public health sectors for zoonotic diseases/ pathogens.” 

Racheal Abujah
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