The Civil Society Scaling-Up Nutrition in Nigeria (CS-SUNN) as part of its mandate to scale up nutrition in Nigeria by advocating for more funding to the health sector especially in the area of nutrition recently convened a day dissemination meeting for budget analysis (Infographics) for Health/Nutrition and State specific score card with support from PACFaH.
The meeting was organized to share facts from the analysis of the proposed budget and its releases for 2017 in comparison with previous years especially in the area of health and nutrition. The fact was shared to key stakeholders from the national and across the three focal states namely Kaduna, Niger and Nasarawa. Furthermore, the state specific score card was presented at the meeting for the key stakeholders to be aware of their performance/progress and consequently those necessities yet to be put in place to tackle the menace of malnutrition in their various states.
In his Keynote Address, Head of Nutrition FMOH Dr Chris Isokpunkwu described malnutrition as not only a health issue but a developmental issue which has alarming consequences on the economy and productivity of a nation. According to him, major causes of malnutrition still remain ignorance and insufficient resources and so he therefore encouraged the states to prioritize nutrition in their health budget.
Project Director CS-SUNN, Mrs Beatrice Eluaka noted that CSOs are not speaking out with the aim to condemn or criticize the government instead, are partners in progress to see that there is a better and healthier Nigeria.
Speaking on a Brief Overview of the development process of the state level score card and key findings of the score card report Mr Donald Ikenna defined a score card as a statistical record used to measure progress towards a particular goal using scores, adding that the integral concepts of scorecards are targets and Key Performance Index (KPI) – which are metrics used to evaluate factors that are crucial to the success of an organization. (Find attached graphical illustration on scores for Kaduna, Niger and Nasarawa states on BCC, Service Delivery, etc from 2015-2016).
See below aggregated scores for states from 2015-2016, with Kaduna state emerging with the highest allocation to health sector in 2016 Budget of the three states.
CS-SUNN Project Manager, Sunday Okoronkwo who spoke on Overview of the Development Process of the Budget Analysis and key Findings lamented that Nigeria is yet to meet the target of the 15% allocation to the health sector according to the 2001 Abuja declaration. Analysis indicates that year 2012 health budget recorded the highest allocation of about$1.8 billion dollars to the health sector with 2017 recording the lowest allocation index of $0.99 billion. He said the existing solution to tackling malnutrition is the National Strategic Plan of Action for Nutrition (NSPAN) costed document of about 912 million USD which when invested into would avert 890,000 stunting in five years and save about 123,000 lives each year. Unfortunately, nutrition spending out of the 2017 health budget is just 0.6.
These recommendations were raised at the end of the meeting:
• That the budget performance comparing the proposed and the approved should majorly focus on the present year-2017.
• Government should improve funding to the health sector so as to reduce out of pocket expenditure
• States should find innovative ways of funding of the health sector
• Subsequent interactions should consider inviting the chairs of House Health Committee of state assemblies
• That to ensure timely releases, ensure the state Accountant Generals and permanent secretaries of Finance are invited to CS-SUNN forum
Participants from the national and across the three focal states were drawn from the FMoH, NSPHCDA, SMoH, MA&RD, MoBP, MF&EP, MoEST, MOA&F, MWA&SD, NSPC, FME, FMWASD, FMIC, Alive and Thrive FHI360, Foundation for FFVHOE, PSN, Action Against Hunger, AAFP, UNICEF, SCI, NBS Lafia, People’s Daily Kaduna, Nigerian Pilot Newspaper, Newsline Newpaper, FRCN Kaduna, The Punch, AIT, News Agency of Nigeria, Daily Trust and Vision FM.