By Felicia Imohimi
Sen. Binta Garba (APC-Adamawa North) on Thursday advised ministers against diversion of funds for development purposes.
She also advised them to focus on programmes that will better the lots of the masses.
Garba gave the advice at a colloquium organised by the Association of Medical Laboratory Scientists of Nigeria (AMLSN), FCT branch.
The theme of the meeting is: “Perennial flooding in Nigeria: Communicable diseases and looming antimicrobial resistance’’.
Binta, who decried the dearth in health sector among other challenges, blamed this on mismanagement of funds and brain-drain.
The lawmaker noted Primary Healthcare Centres (PHCs) as the base of healthcare delivery and lamented that priority was not given to the sector.
She urged that priority should be made for equipment, medication and adequate manpower to the PHCs to curb the prevalence of diseases in the country.
Garba also urged government to prioritise policies geared toward boosting healthcare delivery in primary healthcare centres.
According to her, if we fix our roads, health system, problem of water, environment and sanitation, among others, issue of flooding ravaging the grassroots would be a thing of the past.
“Health sector is in shamble because of lack of proper policies of the government, every minister that comes in will complain of having a slim budget, but the thing is that you see how you diversify.
“No matter how slim, use the budget to impact on the lives of the common man. This has to do with primary healthcare; that is giving it the needed support.
“But unfortunately when you get there you will not see the necessary equipment, medication that are needed to save lives first before moving the patient to the secondary healthcare.
“To better the lot of the populace we must prioritise what we want to do in this country, any policy that is not geared toward improving lives is a failure,’’ she said.
On the theme, she urged stakeholders in disaster management to galvanise efforts to ensure the wellbeing of the populace.
According to her, disaster can only be managed and resolved through the collaborative efforts of health workers and National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), among other stakeholders.
Mr Ndubuisi Ebitea, Chairman of the association, expressed displeasure on the health challenges and death associated with flooding.
Ebitea who identified flood as a natural disaster emphasised that when it occurred attention were usually geared toward relocating victims while it associated health challenges are often neglected.
The chairman identified causes of flood to include deforestation, erecting structure against building code and excavation.
He however urged Nigerians to guard against activities that could fuel flood disaster and as well heed to NiMET warning.
“The most disturbing aspect of flood is the health challenges association with it, most times attention are not giving to victims as soon as they are evacuated.
“This colloquium is aimed at tackling health challenges resulting from flooding which is a natural disaster; nobody will determine the position of the land.
“There are certain activities of man that trigger flood, deforestation, building against normal building code , excavating areas that are not to be excavated which we all must guard against,” he warned.