By Aideloje Ojo
Pioneer Provost of the School of Medical Sciences, Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University, Bauchi, Prof. Kabiru Sabitu, has decried the high rate of infant and maternal mortality in the country, attributing it to the failure of the Primary Health Care delivery system.
Sabitu stated this at the weekend when he delivered the 3rd Annual Lecture of Newgate College of Health Technology, Minna.
He lamented that achieving successful health care financing had continued to elude the country “because of the very low level of government health funding some of which come from donor funds.”
“Infant mortality ratio in Nigeria is 69 per 1, 000 live births while maternal mortality ratio is 840 per 100, 000 live births. It is also of serious concern that the ratio of doctors per 10, 000 population is 4:0.
“Government at all levels has continued to allocate below five per cent of their annual budgets to education despite the Abuja Declaration that stipulated 15 per cent of annual budget,” he said.
He, therefore, called on the federal government to begin the implementation of the Primary Health Care Act as passed by the National Assembly and assented to by former President Goodluck Jonathan.
In a remark, the Executive Director of the College, Hassan Nuhu, said the institution was ready to contribute to the development of the country with the training of man power in the health sector.
He awarded scholarships to 30 students, explaining that it was part of the management’s commitment to assist indigent students from neighbouring communities.
He said another group of 20 women from host communities were also empowered by the college in various entrepreneurial skills and were assisted with take-off facilities.
He admonished the over 2, 800 students that matriculated for this academic section to shun laziness and work hard towards achieving academic success.