WORRIED by the deplorable state of the health sector in the country, Senate President David Mark yesterday called on President Goodluck Jonathan to declare state of emergency in the sector.
Mark also stressed the need for a comprehensive road map that would help address the challenges of healthcare delivery in the country to reduce maternal and child deaths.
Speaking at an interactive session of Senators and the partnership for Maternal, Newborn and Child Health (PMNCH) in Abuja, yesterday, Mark who noted that the Nigerian government was committed to reduction of child and maternal deaths, said that available statistic showed that Nigeria contributes only 2% to world population and yet accounts for 10% of the global maternal deaths.
The Senate President lamented that Nigerian ranked highest in Africa in terms of number of neonatal death and second world wide in terms of under five deaths.
He said, “These situations must be addressed if Nigeria is to join other developed nations. It is only proper that we do something urgent to arrest the situation.”
He however traced parts of the problems to traditional beliefs and inadequate capital for health care services, just as he promised that the National Assembly will as a matter of deliberate policy, increase appropriation to the health sector in the 2013 Budget especially now that the devastating flood across the country has worsened the situation.
Earlier, the Chairman of (PMNCH), Professor Julio Frenk who doubles as the Dean, School of Public Health, Harvard University, United States of America said that Nigeria was one of the fastest growing nations in the world and therefore requires adequate health care facilities to take care of the population.
He urged Nigerian government to adopt the resolution of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) in Kampala, Uganda 2012 on how to curtail the maternal mortality.
Earlier, Nigerian Health Minister, Professor Onyebuchi Chukwu noted that the group visited the country in order to partner with the government in its efforts at combating the menace of mother-child deaths.