Why the size of Nigeria’s health budget is personal

Why the size of Nigeria’s health budget is personal

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By Olalekan Obisesan, ONE Campaigns Intern

Adeolu Tope Akinbowa, was born and raised with his five siblings in Idanre – a historic town located in a scenic hilly area of Ondo state. He was only 10 years old when he lost his father to an unidentified illness after complaining of back pain.

Adeolu had not considered going to school, he thought he would possibly take after his father who was a farmer. After his death, he decided to become a doctor so that he could join the fight against preventable deaths – especially in rural communities. Adeolu worked hard and, many years later, he graduated from Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife’s medical program as the top graduating student!

Adeolu says, “Nigeria’s strategic position in Africa is far from reflected in its health care system.” In order to live up to the standards expected of it, he’s calling on the government to pay serious attention to the health sector: “Our government must carry out such duties as required of it in order to invigorate our “dying” health system. One of the major duties being to ensure the availability of sufficient funds to the sector for improved health services delivery,” Adeolu said.

The passing of Adeolu’s father is not an isolated incident, millions of Nigerians are affected by the current health crisis. The 2017 Health budget should be formulated to reflect the reality of the disease burden in the country. Systematic funding of the primary health care system that enables Nigeria to move towards universal health coverage, taking into account the current disease burden should drive investments in the health sector.

To join Adeolu and other thousands of Nigerians calling on the Nigeria government to increase investment in the health sector visit one.org/makenaijastronger

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