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Summit considers Nigeria”s health troubles, $33bn shortfall

A funding gap of nearly $33 billion for health across 63 countries takes centre stage as experts meet Tuesday for a summit on reproductive, maternal,…

A funding gap of nearly $33 billion for health across 63 countries takes centre stage as experts meet Tuesday for a summit on reproductive, maternal, newborn, child and adolescent health (RMNCAH), Daily Trust has learnt.

Organised by the Federal health ministry, the summit will consider innovative funding like the World Bank’s global financing facility (GFF) to "support health for women, adolescents and children," said Esther Agbon, advocacy advisor at Evidence for Action’s MamaYe programme.

The summit themed "Accountability Now: Advancing, Maternal, Newborn and Child Health" is hoping to build an investment kit–to look at what areas of health will hold greatest returns from funding–and assess funding commitments Nigeria has made but failed to redeem, said Tessy Effa, country representative not Champions for Change, one of many partners to the summit.

The summit is platform for governments and RMNCAH stakeholders to develop a "robust and all-inclusive national plkan of action to ensure measurable progress of the [sustainable development goals]," said Dr Tunde Sefun, country director for E4A MamaYe at a media roundtable ahead of the summit.
It comes amidst concern about health indicators pointing to Nigeria as the second worst place to be a mother, sharing a third of global maternal deaths with India, having a low prevalence of contraception use, alongside high rates of deaths among children aged under five, low use of skilled attendance at childbirth, poor breastfeeding culture.

Dr Francis Eremutha, chair of the summit’s steering committee, said, "Our NDHS [National Demographic Health Survey] tells us 120 out of 1000 children will not celebrate their fifth birthday. That’s how bad things are."

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