5% of basic health fund to be disbursed for health emergencies- Minister

The Minister of Health, Isaac Adewole, has said that five per cent of the Basic Healthcare Provision Fund will go to health emergency management which covers all aspect of health, including accidents and disease outbreaks.

Mr Adewole spoke in Abuja, while receiving top management officials from the Public Health England (PHE) United Kingdom, who were on a working visit to Nigeria recently, according to a statement on Friday signed by the ministry’s spokesperson, Boade Akinola.

The Basic Health Care Provision Fund is the one per cent of the consolidated budget approved under the National Health Act (NHA) in Nigeria to substantially increase revenue and improve PHC services.

According to the National Health Act, the Basic Health Care Provision Fund shall be financed from the federal government’s annual grants of not less than one per cent of the consolidated revenue fund, grants by international donor partner and funds from any other source.

The minister said five per cent of the fund shall be used for emergency medical treatment which ought to be administered by the committee appointed by the National Council on Health. He is yet to explain how that would be implemented.

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Mr Adewole said the move is part of the government’s effort to support the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), which is the flag-ship of disease outbreak management and control in Nigeria.

He stated that Nigeria needed the expertise and knowledge from the UK, Public Health Office due to “her years of experience”.

Mr Adewole maintained that synergy between the countries would go a long way in building a strong team for Nigeria and strengthening collaboration between technical agencies and the Federal Ministry of Health.

Earlier this week, NCDC signed a memorandum of understanding with Public Health England (PHE) in a bid to strengthen international disease control across borders.

The agreement means that the British public health institute would be helping Nigeria and four other countries to improve their International Health Regulations (IHR) in disease prevention, detection and control.

This partnership came weeks after two patients were diagnosed and hospitalised for monkeypox in the UK.

The two patients were found to have travelled from Nigeria where there was an outbreak of the disease last year.

In his remarks, the Chief Executive, Public Health England, Duncan Selbie, said their visit to the ministry was to assess the size and scope of the NCDC and the role the organisation plays in the Public Health system.

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He noted that PHE had supported NCDC in the development of its National Action Plan for Health Security (NAPHS), the training of staff from the National Reference Laboratory and other project areas.

Mr Selbie said the UK government is poised to strengthen the Nigerian health sector, considering the strategic importance of Nigeria in the public health region and African continent in general.

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