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Compared to last year, there is a significant drop in states’ investment in the health sector, backed by budget decrease from average 11 per cent in 2020 to 4.65 per cent in 2022.

Also, a report, published, yesterday, by SBM Morgen, indicated that Ogun and Bayelsa states have overtaken Lagos as most prepared state against health emergencies.

SBM Morgen is Nigeria’s leading geopolitical intelligence platform.

It noted: “Put together, the 36 states spent an average of 4.65 per cent of their budgets on healthcare in 2021.

This is compared to the 2020’s budget, where the states spent over 11 per cent. Only Osun (17.30 per cent) and Ondo (10.28 per cent) states allotted more than 10 per cent to healthcare in 2021.

The number dropped compared to 11 states last year. Lagos State, despite its huge budget in 2021, allotted only 2.76 per cent to the health sector. This implies that compared to last year, there is a significant drop in how the states are investing in the health sector.”

Only two states – Osun and Imo – in their 2021 appropriation bills, budgeted more funds for the health sector compared to 2020. Both states allotted 17.30 per cent and 7.31 per cent of their budgets in 2021. In the preceding year, both states allotted 12.10 per cent and 6.18 per cent.

According to the study, it is possible that other states that allotted fewer funds to the health sector decided to do so because the number of reported COVID-19 cases had reduced to near zero when compared to last year that was the height of the pandemic.

He continued: “Last year, states had to cut their budgets for other sectors to meet the pressure of the coronavirus on the health sector.”

Ogun leads the 2022 Health Preparedness Index with 39.91 points, followed by Bayelsa with 38.40 points.

The most important factors in arriving at the state’s Health Preparedness Index 2022 include the state’s health budget (per capita), ratio of doctors to patients, infant mortality and the Human Development Index.

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