Death Rate In Nigeria Extremely High – NASS

The National Assembly yesterday has warned that the death rate in the country is extremely high, and called for more investment in the health sector.
The lawmakers cry out, saying the mortality indices in the country is extremely high despite huge funding into the health sector over the years by government at all levels.
It therefore called that health security in the country on the template of Universal Health Coverage should be for prioritised.
Speaking during a media briefing organised by the Joint Committee of both chambers on Health, the Chairman, Senate Committee on Health, Senator Ibrahim Oloriegbe said the reduction of the death rate cannot be achieved through the exclusive National Health Insurance Scheme being run by the Federal Government.
Oloriegbe said they have put the issue at the front burner of discourse at the 4th Annual Legislative Summit on Health, slated for next week in Abuja .
“This actions by the Legislature have become critically necessary as the country’s mortality indices have remained extremely high with minimal improvements, despite the magnitude of resources contributed to improve the statistics.
“For instance, the National Demographic Health Survey (2018) findings revealed that in the seven years preceding the survey, infant mortality rate was 67 deaths per 1,000 live births; under-5 mortality was 132 deaths per 1,000 live births; and Maternal mortality ratio, 512 deaths per 100,000 live births.
“Similar dismal indices are recorded across different health indicators and call for accelerated responses like this one, across different spheres of stakeholders to address the challenges giving rise to these,” he said.
He added that in addressing the problem, health security should be prioritised in the country through Universal Health Coverage (UHC).
To achieved that, he said the exclusive model of National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) being practised, must be made inclusive by expanding its cope beyond the 5% of the population it covers to appreciable percentage of health care deliveries.
“Although the country is making attempts to take giant strides in its pursuit of Universal Health Coverage (UHC); these efforts and whatever achievements have been recorded could be quickly eroded if health security is not prioritized.
“This is obvious in the effect of the currently ravaging COVID-19 pandemic and other disease outbreaks that have greatly impacted the health system negatively.
“The approaches to ensure that health security is prioritized and at the same time the country’s UHC pursuit is not hindered is the focus of our discussions at this year’s 4th Annual Legislative Summit on Health,” he declared.
In his own remarks, the Chairman, House Committee on Health Services, Hon Tanko Sununu said there is need for amendment of the existing National Health Insurance Scheme Act for actualisation of the Universal Health Coverage and by extension, health security.

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