Monday, June 10, 2013

Civil Society petitions Parliament over health budget, Media freedom

A group of civil society organisations on Friday stormed Parliament to deliver petitions asking for the august house to embrace the Table Mountain Declaration and to increase budgetary allocation to the health sector to 15 percent of the budget as per stipulations of the Abuja Declaration of 2001.

The CSOs, led by the Centre for the Development of People (CEDEP) and The Centre for Human Rights and Rehabilitation (CHRR), flanked about a hundred banner-bearing protestors, descended on parliament and delivered the two petitions to the parliamentary committee chairpersons responsible for health and media, Paul Chibingu and Godfrey Munkhondia respectively.

“It’s pathetic that though it is recommended that nations should strive to allocate at least 15 percent of their national budget to health we are still dragging, we are still at 10 percent. We still have a lot of challenges such as the recent drug shortage.

“We thought this budget would consider that and try to solve some of those problems. The HIV fight for example sees almost all the money is donor funded, we seem not to realise that we have that problem. It’s time we started allocating our own funds to the HIV fight,” said Timothy Mtambo, CHRRs Programmes Manager.

Asked why the CSOs were asking parliament to intervene on the Table Mountain declaration, Mtambo parliament has the potential to push the president to sign the agreemen

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