SUCCESS FOR THE WOMEN OF NIGERIA – Citizens’ demands met
December 18, 2014After a decade of pressure from White Ribbon Alliance and our many partners in Nigeria, the President of Nigeria has signed the National Health Bill into law.
This is very good news for the millions of Nigerian women who have long faced childbirth alone or without quality health care.
The new law means that one percent of the money that comes from Nigeria’s oil will go into a fund to be spent on primary health care for the people. States and local government are also expected to contribute to the fund.
White Ribbon Alliance Nigeria is a coalition of civil society organizations that have advocated for the past ten years to make birth safer. Their shared goal of a National Health Bill has been tantalizingly close at times but the President has not until now signed it into law. The goal came a step closer earlier this year with a new Senate ruling to support better health services.
The new law could save the lives of three million women and children over a five-year period, according to the Health Reform Foundation of Nigeria. The National Health Act established the rights and obligations of health care providers, health workers, health establishments and protect and fulfill the rights of the people of Nigeria.
Tonte Ibraye, National Coordinator of White Ribbon Alliance in Nigeria, welcomed the new law but emphasized how important it will be for citizens to monitor its implementation.
“Our President should set up an implementation committee” he said, “to address any challenges and to make sure the law works in practice”.