The Federal and state governments have been called upon to ensure improved primary healthcare delivery in the country.
The call was made by a Non-Governmental Organisation, Save the Children International, during the commemoration of Universal Health Coverage (UHC) Day in Lagos recently, lamenting that the country loses no fewer than 109 children under-five per 1,000 live births.
The group which has been at the cutting-edge of the Every Woman Every Child (EWEC) global campaign also decried the newborn mortality rate in the country (34 per 1,000 live births), just as it regretted that 62 percent of deliveries in Nigeria happen without the presence of a Skilled Birth Attendant.
In a statement, the Area Operations Manager for Save the Children Nigeria in Lagos State, Mr. Roy Chikwem said: “We need to do more to improve health care delivery for mothers and children in the country as the figures reflect high numbers of deaths among under-fives”.
He called for increased national commitment and investment towards Universal Health Coverage by buildingReproductive, Maternal, Newborn, Child and Adolescent Health (RMNCAH) services at primary health care level as a first priority and prioritising access for the poorest and most marginalised and excluded groups.
“Our call to governments, donors, development partners and all stakeholders is to: guarantee an essential package of Reproductive, Maternal, Newborn, Child and Adolescent Health (RMNCAH) services as the first priority for UHC; free at the point of use and accessible to all; establish time-bound equity targets for accelerated progress among the poorest and most marginalised and excluded people, so no one is left behind; increased public spending on healthcare to at least recommended minimum levels; improve quality and promote respectful and dignified care in health facilities; and fully implement the National Health Act,” Chikwem added.