The Africa Health Budget Network (AHBN), has called for transparency and proper utilisation of COVID-19 funds in Nigeria, adding that vaccination is best strategy to fight COVID-19 pandemic. The AHBN Coordinator Dr. Aminu Magashi stated this during his presentation titled: “Nigeria’s COVID-19 Funding and Recovery Plan: The place of the media” at a 2-day Annual Conference of Association of Nigeria Health Journalists (ANHEJ) in Nasarawa State.
He added that vaccination is the best weapon and strategy to fight against the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic. Represented by the Senior Programme and Partnership Officer, Dr. Obinna Onuoha, Dr. Magashi called on the Federal government to ensure efficient and transparent utilisation of all COVID-19 funds. “Every COVID-19 funding and recovery plan touches the lives of all Nigerians, and as such, we must ensure that the public is adequately carried along. If you have not heard it before, I say it to you now, you are saving millions of lives by the work that you do.
“As health journalists, you have the mandate to ask the hard questions that no one wants to ask, on the type, nature and duration of funding support for every recovery plan. Transparency, mutual accountability, consensus and collaboration are the fruits we can expect to see when all Nigerians are well informed and presented with the facts. “This is how we can build back better. In so doing, we will steer this great nation closer to seeking the quality health Nigerians are entitled to, not only by their innate rights as human beings, but also as enshrined in the National Health Act 2014, by which we are compelled to uphold.
“Health should be our number one priority if we are to expect full recovery from COVID-19, and I believe this has been reiterated by the Federal Government’s declaration to end COVID-19 by 31 December, 2022. “We thus turn to you our esteemed colleagues in the media, to keep Nigerians abreast on all activities that will bring the much-needed succour, especially to the most vulnerable among us, and terminate this scourge of COVID-19. For without good health, we all would not be in this room”.
He further encouraged Nigerians to take COVID-19 vaccines and shun all forms of conspiracy theories adding that all vaccines are very safe. Magashi while calling on ANHEJ members to ensure they ask hard questions on the type, nature and duration of funding support for every recovery plan said, the media stands front-line and centre in ensuring that all Nigerians are well-informed with facts.