As the world grapples with the COVID-19 pandemic and weak health systems crumble because of lack of investments, the one.org Campaign is relaunching its ‘Make Naija Stronger; campaign.
‘Make Naija Stronger’ aims to reverse the country’s poor health outcomes and move Nigeria closer to universal health coverage by advocating for the full implementation of The Basic Healthcare Provision Fund (BHCPF).
BHCPF was designed to provide a basic minimum package of health services to Nigerians at Primary Healthcare Centres (PHCs) all over Nigeria.
However, it did not receive funding in the federal budget between 2014 and 2017.
It was finally funded in the 2018 budget, after intense campaigning by one.org and a broad coalition of civil society organisations, medical professional groups, youth and women’s groups and the private sector.
One.org is relaunching the campaign by releasing a short animated video featuring music star Waje.
The campaign also enjoys the support of actor and Big Brother Naija alumnus, Seyi Awolowo.
According to the organisation, one.org will also continue to work with partners across sectors to advocate for the full implementation of BHCPF in Nigeria.
Specifically, the campaign will galvanize ordinary citizens around the country to demand the release of funds appropriated for BHCPF from the treasury to the relevant implementing gateways, according to the statement released by the organisation on Wednesday.
“After initial funding in 2018, funds appropriated for the programme in subsequent budgets have not been released to
the relevant implementing bodies.
“In addition to this federal funding objective, Make Naija Stronger will pressure state governments to meet all their implementation responsibilities under the programme.
“Implementation of BHCPF should be a top priority for the government as Nigeria faces the COVID-19 pandemic and continues to produce very poor health outcomes.
“Daily, Nigeria loses about 2,300 children under the age of 5 and 145 women of childbearing age to preventable health-related causes. This is unacceptable,” one.org added.
Edwin Ikuoria, one.org’s Africa Executive Director, stated that “BHCPF could be a transformative program for Nigeria.
“It is the building block of having universal health coverage for all Nigerians and enhancing our ability to effectively respond to infectious diseases like COVID-19.
“It will not be successful until the funds appropriated for it are released and properly utilized by the relevant implementing gateways.
“In addition, state governments must meet their funding responsibilities under the programme. One.org remains committed to the success of the BHCPF and looks forward to working with citizens and our partners towards that end.”