Bayelsa Times
Health News

NAS advocates increment in budgetary allocation to health sector

…blames inadequate funding for increase in mortality

Soji Ajibola

The National Association of Seadogs has advocated increment in annual budgetary allocation to the health sector, to reduce mortality rate, and make health facilities accessible to the rural dwellers nationwide.

Blaming the increase in mortality rate on inadequate funding, the National president of NAS, Abiola Owoaje called on the Federal Government to pay more attention to the sector instead of paying lip service to the issue affecting it.

Owoaje who made this known at the Medical outreach organized for the rural dwellers at Onipe village in Oluyole local Government Area of Oyo state on Thursday said that successive administrations in the country were  fond of paying lip service to the issue affecting the sector, especially to the Primary Health Care (PHC).

Expressing the readiness of his Association to continue partnership with the Federal Government and its relevant agencies, the NAS president disclosed that the organization is spending over N10 million annually on medical outreach.

He said that drugs and medical equipment worth millions of naira have been set aside for the project, adding that over 20 communities were going to benefit rom the outreach annually.

According to him, about 200 villagers were given health lifeline including free consultation, testing, medication and reading glasses, as well as referrals to competent health facilities for higher medical attention.

”The main challenge which also applies to all sectors as well is funding. When you look at the main budget that the Federal Government gives, and that of some state governments, as well, it is never enough to take care of the health sector.

”That is why we have a lot of brain drain. A lot of medical doctors have left the country, going to seek greener pastures elsewhere.

”So, if we can address that issue of funding support. I am sure it will take care of a lot of things, in terms of actual resources that they require, medical staff, infrastructure and most importantly too, a lot of hospitals need restructuring.

”I am sure that once we can resolve that issue of funding, it will make a great difference in the health sector,” he added.

On the impact of the NAS medical outreach on the communities, Owoaje said that the organization carried out a medical outreach once every three months.

”We have our member in every state of the federation. Through our branches nationwide, we have always been ensuring that we give back to society.

”We have been doing this for many years. We assist in the area of Primary Health care. We give basic medical assistance.

”For this medical outreach, we held our annual general meeting in Ibadan. Then we looked around and thought that we should come to this community, Onipe. Then we got our medical team together,” he said.

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