Nigerian Governors reaffirm commitment to fund healthcare delivery
By Chioma Eche, Abuja
The Nigerian Governors Forum has reaffirmed its commitment to building a resilient Primary Health Care System in the country.
The Chairman of the Forum and Governor of Ekiti State, Dr. Kayode Fayemi gave the assurance at the launch of the Primary Health Care, PHC Leadership Challenge Fund in Abuja, the nation’s capital.
To coordinate development agenda for immunisation, primary healthcare and human capital development in the various State across the federation, he said ”the move is culminated in what is known as the Seattle declination, which restates the commitments of the Nigerian Governors forum to strengthen leadership and accountability for the Primary Health Care System at the State level.
“The National Bureau of Statistics launched the MICs and ICS results and it is gratifying to note improvement in some of the health indices, such as immunisation coverage from 33% to 57%”
“However, we know that much still needs to be done to achieve desired results, especially in the areas of human resources for health, financing, and stewardship”
“The PHC Leadership Challenge aims to address these bottleneck as it strives to build a resilient health care system” he said.
Governor Fayemi promised the prompt release of approved budgets to the States’ primary healthcare board and primary healthcare facilities across the States.
He also promised to increase the healthcare workforce to ensure that all Primary Health Care have the minimum staffing requirements for effective operation in their various States.
“On our part, the Nigeria Governors’ Forum, representing the thirty-six states of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, has taken up the challenge. We have done it in the past with polio eradication and are ready to do it again for PHC system strengthening, especially given our recent experience with the COVID-19 pandemic,” he stressed.
The governor commended the Stakeholders in the Health sectors and called on them to join in this laudable initiative to promote exceptional leadership, build a resilient primary health care system and achieve the best possible health outcomes in the country.
He further disclosed that the governors are looking forward to being the recipient of the fund.
“The most important part of this whole exercise is the money. So, on behalf of all of us, the 36 State governors and members of the Nigerian Governor forum, this is our statement of commitment to strengthening primary health care system in Nigeria”
“Following the induction to the Seattle Declaration by 36 governors of Nigeria in November 2019, the Nigerian governors forum representing the 36 States of the Federation, hereby affirm our commitment to strengthen the primary health care system in the country”
“We therefore adopt and confirm our commitment in line with the Seattle Declaration as follows:
- improving the governance of the primary healthcare system as a sub national level by fully implementing the primary health care under one roof policy, and providing active leadership for primary health care through regular engagement with relevant Primary Health Care stakeholders, and quarterly Primary Health Care performance review at the State Executive Council meetings
- to promote progressive increase in primary health care funding by ensuring efficient budgeting that is aligned to annual operational plans, promptly releasing approved budget to the state primary health care board, and primary health care facilities and ensuring that there is a mechanism in place for basic health care provision, fund implementation and oversight at the state and facility levels.
- recruit requisite health workforce to ensure that all primary health care facilities have the minimum staffing requirements appropriate for their level in line with the state’s minimum service package.
- institute a culture of use of evidence for decision making, by ensuring that the data quality across all primary health care facilities is progressively improved.
- develop a state led and state on local government area levels, Primary Health Care leadership challenge for local government area chairmen, for sustainability and strengthening the commitment of the local government area chairmen to primary health .
Meanwhile, Nigeria’s Minister of Health, Osagie Ehanire, said the attention to Primary Health Care at this time is an urgent one and the Nigerian government is doing everything possible.
The disclosed that the government is developing and directing resources from global fund to provide the country with adequate Oxygen, by building over 100-120 oxygen plant and three thousand oxygen cylinder through the global fund facilities in three geo-political zone in the country.
He said an agreement had been with State government to have valuable general Hospital where these plant will be stationed, maintained and operated.
The Country Director, Bill and Belinda Gates Foundation, Mr. Jeremie Zoungrana, said the Foundation is fully aligned with Nigeria’s determination to reform and revitalize PHC through the current effort by the Ministry of Health and the National Primary health Care Development Agenda.
“We are encouraged by recent reports showing improvement in routine immunization, Skilled birth attendants, Nutrition, Malaria coverage indicators and declining cases of CVDPV2, this is encouraging and you all should be proud of this achievement,” he said.
He further said that to support these commitments, the PHC Leadership Challenge Fund was initiated to fill critical leadership gaps in primary health care systems development in Nigeria.
Earlier, the UNICEF Representative in Nigeria, Peter Hawkins, called on the governors, urging them to change the narrative of primary health care in their State.
“Health is the most sufficient, and I say to all the governor, the most cost effective way to achieve health for all”
Also, the National President of Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Archbishop Daniel Okoh urged the Governors on vigorous pursue of the initiative and the need to ensure that the programme is implemented for the benefits of Nigerians especially those in the grassroot.
Still on the launch of the Primary Health Care, the Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar noted that health is wealth and pledged support for the successful implementation of the Primary Health Care across the country.
Meanwhile Nigeria’s Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed said; ”the implementation of the State Charter to Sustain Fiscal Transparency, Accountability is indeed a milestone in the sustenance of reforms in Public Finance Management in Nigeria.”
The Minister stated this at the lunch of the State Charter to sustain Fiscal Transparency, Accountability and sustainability reforms, along side the lunch of the Primary health care lunch, in Abuja Nigeria.
According to her, 29 States have passed Public Procurement Laws and all 36 went ‘live’ on an e-procurement platform by 31 December 2021.
She added that the federal Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning would continue to support the States in the implementation of the Charter to further deepen on-going reforms in Public Finance Management.
Governors in attendance at the launch were, Babagana Zulum of Borno, Bala Mohammed of Bauchi State, Godwin Obaseki of Edo State, Inuwa Yahaya of Gombe State, Abubakar Badaru of Jigawa State, Simon Lalong of Plateau State, Dapo Abiodun of Ogun State, Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State, Rotimi Akeredolu of Ondo State, AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq of Kwara State, Hope Uzodinma of Imo State, Aminu Tambuwal of Sokoto State, Dave Umahi of Ebonyi State and Gboyega Oyetola of Osun State.
In a Communique issued by the Nigerian Governors forum on the prolonged strike by Nigerian University, the federal government and the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), the forum called for a lasting resolutions to the lingering impasse.
The forum also highlighted the country’s galloping inflation, following a presentation by Mr. Bismarck Rewane, member of the President’s Economic Advisory Council (EAC).
The Forum has resolved to immediately engage with the federal government to implement a set of immediate actions to ameliorate the worsening economic conditions of the citizenry.