The Senate is considering a bill to establish an Advanced Health care Development Fund, it was learnt.

It is sponsored by Senator Sandy Onor, who represents Cross River Central.

Also, a bill to prevent, control and manage Sickle Cell Disease (SCD) has scaled second reading.

Onor regretted that “the current state of tertiary health care can be described as grossly inadequate”.

He added: “Nigeria’s tertiary health care system has been ranked 162 in the world with the adequacy of health care practitioners ranked 119; health facilities ranked 131, care systems ranked at 162 and health coverage ranked at 149.

“Put simply, Nigeria is not performing well in any component of Advanced/Tertiary health care.”

Citing recent data from the World Health Organisation (WHO), the lawmaker highlighted Nigeria’s tertiary health challenges.

“Nigeria has a poor ratio of approximately four doctors for every 10,000 citizens, 15 nursing and midwifery personnel for every 10,000 citizens, one dentist for every 10,000 citizens and one pharmacist for every 10,000

Onor said if the bill became law, funds from one per cent Consolidated Revenue Fund and one per cent tax from companies would be administered by health professionals and experts.

The “Sickle Cell Anaemia (Prevention, Control and Management) Bill, 2020” was sponsored by Senator Sam Egwu (Ebonyi North).

Egwu lamented that the rise of sickle cell was ‘’…regrettable because sickle cell …is …preventable with minimal efforts and national consciousness,” he said.

He said the 2014 and 2015 reports of WHO and Ministry of Health on Sickle Cell “…state that Nigeria has the highest prevalence of Sickle Cell Disease (SCD) in the world with about 40 million …carrying the genes.

“Nigeria is the most Sickle Cell Disease endemic country …with over 150,000 babies born with the condition every year, majority of whom die before … 10 with an annual infant death of 100,000…

Egwu noted that the bill would place “a statutory duty on the Federal Government to engage in and encourage prevention, control and management of the occurrence, spread and effect of sickle cell.”


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