ONE marks success of Make Naija Stronger campaign

·        Every single day, Nigeria loses about 2,300 under-five year olds and 145 women of childbearing age. This makes Nigeria the second largest contributor to the under–five and maternal mortality rate in the world (Source: UNICEF).

·        Nigeria has the second largest HIV epidemic in the world. In addition, Nigeria has one of the worst treatment coverage rates in the world, with just 30% of the population living with HIV accessing needed treatment, compared with the world average of 53% (Source: UNAIDs).

·        A survey completed by the Ministry of Health, revealed that out of 30,000 Primary Healthcare Centres (PHCs) in Nigeria, only 1 in 5 PHCs are functional (Source: Nigerian Ministry of Health).

Starting in 2005, civil society organizations led public rallies and other advocacy efforts towards securing the passage of a National Health Bill that would provide the structural and funding framework for the effective delivery of healthcare in Nigeria, resulting in the passage of the National Health Act in 2014.

Despite the law’s passage, the key funding mechanism it specifies (1% of the nation’s Consolidated Revenue Fund is to be transferred to the Basic Healthcare Provision Fund) was not implemented in subsequent years.

In April 2016, ONE launched the Make Naija Stronger Campaign (MNS) in Nigeria to add its voice to those of CSOs pressuring the government to implement the 2014 NHA.

The main goals MNS are advocating for 1) The Federal Government to allocate at least 1% of the Consolidated Revenue Fund (CRF) to the Basic Healthcare Provision Fund (BHCPF) in its budget, as provided for by the 2014 National Health Act (NHA); 2) For the Executive to publicly ensure that open contracting is implemented in the health sector.

Ultimately, the MNS Campaign aims to improve the quality of healthcare, and to set Nigeria towards universal healthcare coverage for all citizens—particularly the poorest ones.

In the ensuing two years, ONE worked with over 70 civil society partners to sign open letters to President Muhammadu Buhari calling for the full funding and implementation of the National Health Act.

Coalitions such as the Health Sector Reform Coalition, Primary Healthcare Revitalization Support Group and the Legislative Network for Universal Health Coverage were crucial to these efforts.

Working with these coalitions ONE participated in over 180 lobby meetings with government officials and policy makers and publicly pressured key officials in the press at politically sensitive moments while engaging allies within government to secure funding for Act.

In addition, 10 artists and entertainers joined the campaign as ambassadors bringing greater visibility and cultural relevance to MNS. These celebrities helped drive 224,000 people to sign petitions to President Buhari, join street rallies and share online materials.

On June 20th 2018, President Buhari accepted the National Assembly’s inclusion of 1% CRF for basic healthcare provision and signed it into law, injecting $152 million in new funding into Nigeria’s healthcare system. If properly implemented, this fund will prove to be an important step towards providing all Nigerians with the health services they need to lead full, healthy, productive lives.

With the legislative win secured, accountability becomes the focus of MNS going forward. For more information on MNS, go to https://www.one.org/africa/take-action/make-naija-stronger/

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