POLICY BRIEF (IMPROVING MATERNAL, NEWBORN AND CHILD HEALTH PROPOSALS IN THE 2015 FEDERAL BUDGET)

PART ONE: INTRODUCTION

1.1 Objective and Methodology: The objective of this Policy Brief is to show the state of Maternal, New-born and Child Health (MNCH) in Nigeria, review the 2015 budget proposals for MNCH, draw conclusions and make policy recommendations to the National Assembly (NASS) and the executive. The recommendations are for the purpose of adjusting the proposals to address MNCH challenges and oversee the implementation of relevant laws and policies for improving the MNCH status in Nigeria. The methodology involves a review of the MNCH statistics drawing from the National Strategic Health Development Plan ([2010-2015], [NSHDP]), World Health Organisation and UNICEF statistics and the proposals of the 2015 federal budget. The Policy Brief reviews the proposals of key Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) working on MNCH. However, it recognises the challenge that many MDAs have mandates including MNCH and other issues. As such, it is difficult to delineate the exact funding that will be spent to resolve MNCH challenges, especially where personnel votes are proposed to pay staff whose duty schedules include MNCH and other issues. While the focus is on MNCH, the Policy Brief draws findings and conclusions from the trajectory of the general health funding, releases, cash backing and utilisation rates.

1.2 The State Obligation: Nigeria is under obligation to use the maximum of available resources for the progressive realisation of the right to health. This includes the obligation to ensure effective MNCH services within its territory. This obligation is encapsulated in national and international standards. The right to health is an integral and inextricable part of the right to life, for without good health, the right to life may be extinguished. All that the authorities need to do to violate the right to life is to deny health supporting facilities and conditions to a group of persons to the point of abrogation.

Issues of MNCH include life expectancy at birth, under five mortality rate, infant mortality rate, immunization of children against preventable diseases; percentage of underweight children, children sleeping under insecticide treated nets (ITNs), maternal mortality, adolescents birth, HIV prevalence among 15-24 years olds, etc. These issues affect pregnant women, infants, under five children[1] and children. This group of persons constitute a good part of the Nigerian population. Primary health care including MNCH has been declared to be part of the minimum core content of the right to health and as such, a part of the minimum core obligation of the state on health[2].

1.3 Indicators, Baselines, Targets and What Has Been Achieved: Table 1 shows the key issues in the NSHDP including the indicators, baselines targets and what has been achieved so far.

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POLICY BRIEF (IMPROVING MATERNAL, NEWBORN AND CHILD HEALTH PROPOSALS IN THE 2015 FEDERAL BUDGET)

 

[1] As at 2012, the Nigerian Under-5 population was 29,697,000.

[2] General Comment Nos. 3 and 14 of the United Nations Committee on Economic Social and Cultural Rights.

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