Centre for Social Justice (CSJ) has faulted the poor allocations meant for management of maternal, newborn and child health proposals in the 2016 federal budget.
CSJ noted that the preparation process of the 2016 budget was not backed by a Medium Term Sector Strategy (MTSS) but, on a Zero Base Budgeting (ZBB) framework.
Programme Officer, Centre for Social Justice, Mr. Victor Emejuiwu made this known recently while briefing newsmen in Abuja.
He disclosed that the budget proposals were not underpinned by a MTSS and as such, did not undergo a prioritisation process and may not reflect the best strategies and activities for the realisation of high level policy goals in Maternal Newborn and Child Health (MNCH). He explained that the process is in contravention of the provisions of the National Health Career Association (NHCA) and the Fiscal Responsibility Act (FRA).
According to him, “The central objective of this policy briefing is to review the estimates in the 2016 federal budget for maternal, new born and child health with a view to determining its adequacy for the task of protecting the rights to health and to life of persons who are to enjoy services to be provided from the budget.
“Ideally, the Zero Base Budgeting framework provides the opportunity to reconsider a lot of investment options and to determine the best way to spend available resources and to re-engineer the budget to deliver greater value, the NHA provides in section 2 (2) that the Federal Ministry of Health shall prepare strategic medium term health and human resources plans annually and ensure that the plan forms the basis of the annual budget proposal and any other government planning excise as may be required by any other law.”
Notwithstanding the poor funding of the sector by the government, CSJ urges various stakeholders to monitor and coordinate resources accruing to the primary health care in the country as these funds are required to provide support services for antenatal and postnatal care, basic vaccines, immunisations anti-malaria drugs, hospital beds, medical equipment, anti-retro-viral drugs, HIV test kits and insecticide treated nets.