House considers bill on special fund for health emergencies

Lawan Hamidu, Abuja.

The House of Representatives is to provide legislative backing to a special fund that will be deployed for handling emergency health outbreaks as in the case of Ebola and other similar cases.

The Speaker House of Representatives, Mr. Yakubu Dogara, revealed this when he received the Regional Director, Africa, of the World Health Organisation, WHO, Dr Matsidiso Rebecca Moeti in Abuja.

Mr. Dogara who reiterated the lawmakers’ commitment to the provision of basic health care delivery to all Nigerians, said the move would go a long way in reducing poverty among the poor in the country.

On the government’s diversification policy, the Speaker gave assurance that very soon, the results would begin to yield results and more funds be available to put into critical sectors such as that of health.

He said, “We had cause at the House of Representatives to engage ministers responsible; those who superintend over ministries and departments of government that their efforts could truly lead to diversifying our revenue and the intention is that we should hold them accountable or responsible for the standards they are setting for them to ensure that we improve income streams for government.”

Earlier, the WHO Regional Director, Dr Matsidiso Rebecca Moeti expressed delight that the current government was giving priority to health to ensure socio-economic development of the country.

She assured the legislators that WHO would provide technical support to the country’s agenda of health development in universal health coverage and some priority projects of sustainable development.

This would include  areas of child survival reducing maternal death and addressing communicable diseases as well as address growing problems of non communicable diseases such as cancer diabetes and hypertension in the continent.

Dr. Moeti requested for the operationalization of the National Health provision of one per cent of consolidated revenue funding for health which she said was vital for the realisation of the health agenda as well as the payment of counterpart funds for some of the global initiatives on health.