The Nigeria Center for Disease Control (NCDC), has called on legislators to increase budgetary allocations substantially for the country to be better positioned to prevent epidemics.
The NCDC Director-General, Dr Chikwe Ihekweazu, made the call on Day Three of the Fourth Annual Legislative Summit on Health themed, ‘Universal Health Coverage and Health Security,’ on Tuesday, May 25, in Abuja.
1st News reports that the summit, which held from May 23 to 25 had a central theme: ‘UHC and Health Security (HS): Two sides of a coin for an efficient health system,’ convened by the National House of Assembly with support from partners.
Ihekweazu said the legislature must also ensure that states were able to provide all the required health security infrastructure at the subnational level.
According to Dr. Emmanuel Alhassan, Country Representative, Global Health Advocacy Incubator, it takes less than 36 hours; for an outbreak to spread from a remote village to any major city in the world.
He said it was in everybody’s interest to prevent epidemics.
The overall objective of setting up the Legislative Network was to effectively leverage statutory functions of the legislature in Nigeria; for improved health financing, toward effective and efficient utilisation of the resources for UHC.
The summit is one of the tools used by legislators to collectively strategise on how to achieve these objectives.
The first summit was convened in July 2017 and has held every year except in 2020 because of COVID-19.
A major output of the meetings is a strategic framework called the Legislative Health Agenda, an actionable work-plan; developed by each state to address existing challenges in the health sector; by applying their statutory functions of legislation, (appropriation), oversight, (accountability), and representation.
Meanwhile, the Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (MACBAN) has stated that it is not against the ban; on open grazing of cattle in the Southern part of the country.
The South-East Zonal Chairman of Miyetti Allah, Alhaji Gidado Siddiki, confirmed this in a statement on Tuesday, May 25, in Enugu.
Siddiki said that the governors of Southern Nigeria may have taken the decision; due to the exigencies of the time, adding that no one should vilify them.