By Kemi Busari
The Nigerian Senate has urged the executive arm to declare a state of emergency in the health sector over the decay in infrastructure.
The move follows the adoption of prayers by a senator, Suleiman Hunkuyi, who presented a motion on the state of public health sector in the country on Tuesday.
Mr. Hunkuyi noted that the decay in infrastructure in public health institutions is being caused by epileptic power and inadequate water supply resulting in unhygienic conditions which further increases the risk of hospital acquired and transmitted infections.
He said, “The senate further notes that critical diagnostic equipment such as MRI, CT Scan, Ultrasound etc. essential for providing efficient diagnosis are either non-functional or not available.
“The senate is concerned that this situation has compounded the dearth of ability to attract the required calibre of health professionals and skilled manpower in our public health institutions with doctors and other healthcare professionals leaving for greener pastures to private medical facilities or even abroad where they can practice.
“The senate is further concerned that the sorry situation in our public health institutions has resulted in increased medical tourism by Nigerians, with the attendant outflow of hard earned foreign currency to the tune of several millions of dollars spent on medical care annually in Europe, America, Asia and even some African countries to the detriment of our own Health Institutions;
“The senate regrets that this sorry state of affairs has rendered our hospitals and other healthcare facilities ineffective, resulting in dire consequences for the citizenry.”
He said the situation culminated in the latest UNICEF statistics on child mortality which ranked Nigeria second highest in the world with losses of about 2300 under-five year olds and 145 women of child bearing age daily.
Adopting prayers from the motion, the senate urged the President Muhammadu Buhari-led executive to declare a state of emergency in the public health sector in the country.
The senate urged the executive to provide special funding for the overhaul of at least one Government owned medical facility in each of the six gee-political zones of the country in the 2018 budget.
The lawmakers also adopted an additional prayer by Aliyu Abdullahi (Niger-APC) that the National Assembly ensure compliance with the National Health Act on funding of primary health care in Nigeria.
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