Establish Osun Health Security Trust Fund, CSOs Urge Govt
By Timothy Agbor, Osogbo
The Osun State Government has been called upon to establish a Health Security Trust Fund to address both the current health security crisis and preparing for the future disease outbreaks.
Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) and other critical stakeholders in the health sector, made the call as part of recommendations at the end of a two-day review and validation meeting of COVID-19 and Health Security Accountability Scorecards with CSOs, Young People and the Media, organised by the African Health Budget Network (AHBN).
The scorecard was developed to report CSOs review on Osun state’s capacity for preparedness and response to health security and COVID-19.
Other recommendations by the CSOs and stakeholders included call for Osun state government to map resources and institutionalize financing mechanism for health security including COVID-19 equitable recovery.
They also charged CSOs working in Osun to constructively engage and collaborate with the State Ministry of Health to monitor/track allocation, donors support, loans and government releases for health security and COVID-19.
They noted that the State Primary Healthcare Development Agency should strengthen community and CSOs involvement to increase utilization of COVID-19 vaccines, improve routine immunization performance and support factual public information on COVID-19 in the state.
CSOs working in the state, in the recommendations were also advised to engage state ministry of health and ministry of finance on the need to publish the state government’ 2020, 2021 and 2022 COVID -19 and Health Security expenditure report; engaged the state government on availability of adequate COVID-19 vaccines in all the state’s vaccination centers aimed at increasing uptake of COVID-19 vaccines and advocate for the strengthening of legislative oversight on budget performance for the implementation of the RMNCAEH+N Recovery Plan in the state.
Speaking, an Osun based civil society leader, Elijah Elijah said, “CSOs in Osun must be highly involved in the happening in the health sector in the state by working closely with the government to ensure health security.
“They must mount pressure through regular reminders on the need for the government to make special funds available to ensure health security in the state.”
“We must adopt deliberate measures to ensure that we prepare fully to contend any form of pandemic in the future by mobilizing resources to ensure adequate health security in the Osun state and country at large.
According to the Coordinator, Africa Health Budget Network (AHBN), Dr. Aminu Magashi Garba, “CSOs must be up and doing, engage and partner with governments either at the state or federal level to ensure that the needed decisions are taken to attain health security.
“We cannot dispute the fact there will be other forms of epidemics in the future, it is the responsibility of the government at all levels to ensure there is adequate health security by making available special and innovative funds.”