Northern Nigerian Breaking News

With history of fatalities due to cholera outbreak, northern states are spending poorly on healthcare infrastructure

By Dare Toba

In 2021, a Cholera outbreak in the Northern region of the country killed twenty persons with more than 300 persons hospitalised.

In the year 2022, when Nigeria experienced a Cholera outbreak, states in Northern Nigeria were said to have accounted for 98% of the cases recorded in the country.

In 2023, Borno state was reported to have experienced a Cholera outbreak with 12496 confirmed cases and 394 deaths. Of these deaths 288 were confirmed while 106 were suspected in 17 out of the 27 Local Government Areas of the state.

Already, in 2024, states like Katsina, Sokoto, Benue are among those affected by the Cholera outbreak in the country.

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Despite these precedents and history, Northern states seem less prepared in terms of health infrastructure and water provision to tackle the scourge of Cholera that has always been an issue in the region. This exposes more persons to death, pain and trauma.

Read Also:Northern states look ill-prepared for 2024 floods

SolaceBase did a data review of select northern states and reports findings from these.

As of the first quarter of 2024, Kogi spent N384 million of the N5.7 billion it budgeted for health sector capital expenditure for the whole year.

In 2023, the state however spent only 50.7% of its health sector proposed capital expenditure, with the sum of N1.8 billion spent from a N3.5 billion health sector capital budget.

Of this amount, only N129,000 was spent on the capital expenditure of the state’s Primary Healthcare Development Agency. This is despite the fact that PHCs are mostly the first responders to cases like outbreaks of Cholera and other diseases, findings by SolaceBase show.

As of the first quarter of 2024, Nasarawa state spent N53 million on its sector capital needs, although it budgeted N7.1 billion for the same purposes throughout the year.

No money was spent on Primary Healthcare Development by the state in the first quarter of 2024.

Read Also:How Benue government’s poor investment in primary healthcare is worsening maternal, child mortality

In 2023, the state spent only 32.2% of its health sector capital expenditure budget. It spent N1.043 billion from a budgeted sum of N3.235 billion. Only N46 million was however spent on its Primary Healthcare Development Agency.

The situation was not any better in Kano state where the sum of N23.7 billion was approved as capital expenditure for its health sector but only N108 million representing 0.8% was spent in 2023. Of this amount, zero naira was spent on its Primary Healthcare board, despite budgeting N4.1 billion for the same purposes.

Kwara state budgeted to spend N25 billion for its health sector capital needs in 2024, as of the first quarter, it already spent N2 billion. The state spent 50% of its health sector expenditure in 2023, spending N9.4 billion from a N18.8 billion budget.

In Sokoto state, the sum of N18 billion was budgeted by the state for 2024 fiscal year budget performance, however as of the first quarter N308 million was spent, unlike other states, all the monies were spent on the state’s primary healthcare development agency.

Read Also:ALERT: Cholera to spread further as 31 states risk heavy flooding – FG

In 2023 however, the state budgeted the sum of N16.4 billion for healthcare needs but ended up spending only N3.4 billion. Of this amount, no amount was spent on Primary Healthcare Development, in spite of a N100 million budget for the same purpose.

The National Bureau of Statistics earlier reported that access to basic sanitation services (WASH) in Kano stands at 67%, 60% in Adamawa, 59% in Borno, 55% in Gombe, 55% in Kaduna, 50% in Katsina, 45% in the Federal Capital Territory, 42% in Jigawa, 41% in Bauchi, 41% in Sokoto, 39% in Niger, 38% in Zamfara, 35% in Yobe, 35% in Kebbi, 33% in Taraba, 30% in Nasarawa, 27% in Plateau, 25% in Kogi, 24% in Benue, and 14% in Kwara.

Access to open defecation is highest in Kwara at 64%, followed by Plateau at 61%, Kogi 58%, Niger 48%, Nasarawa 47%, Benue 46%, Taraba 41%, FCT 37%, Yobe 32%, Adamawa 19%, Sokoto 18%, Kebbi 18%, Borno 16%, Jigawa 14%, Bauchi 10%, Kaduna 9%, Katsina 8%, Gombe 8%, Kano 4%, Zamfara 2%.

Access to basic hygiene services is also put at 49% in Jigawa state, 34% in Sokoto state, 29% in Kano, 24% in Kaduna, 20% in Abuja, 19% in Zamfara, 18% in Yobe, 15% in Adamawa, 15% in Niger, 11% in Kebbi, 11% in Borno, 10% in Kwara, 10% in Kogi, 8% in Katsina, 8% in Nasarawa, 6% in Plateau, 5% in Benue, 3% in Taraba, 2% in Gombe and 1% in Bauchi.

SolaceBase earlier reported how Northern states spend sparsely on their water sector and their erosion and flooding control systems.

This worsens the Cholera outbreak in the states, exposing citizens to more deaths and afflictions.

Kano State budgeted the sum of  N220 million for erosion and flood control in 2024 but failed to spend the funds in the first quarter of the year.

Nasarawa State budgeted the sum of N1.72 billion for erosion and flooding control in 2024 but also failed to spend any amount in the first quarter of the year.

Read Also:EXPLAINER: Why children are likely to be more threatened by Nigeria’s cholera outbreak

Kwara state budgeted the sum of N195 million as of the 2024 fiscal year but did not spend any money in the first three months of 2024 on flooding and erosion control.

Taraba state budgeted the sum of N565 million for erosion and flooding control for 2024 but failed to spend any money as of the first three months of the year.

Zamfara state budgeted N4 billion for erosion and flooding control in 2024 but spent zero naira in the first three months.

 

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