Kano kick-starts project to reduce maternal, child mortality, morbidity
*Trains monitors to track how maternal health funds are utilised at primary health centres
As part of efforts to reduce maternal and child deaths in the country as well as meet the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) targets, Kano State Government has started training monitors to track how maternal health funds are utilised across Primary Health Care Centres (PHCs) in the state.
Executive Director, Resource Centre for Human Rights & Civic Education (CHRICED), Dr. Ibrahim M. Zikirullahi, yesterday, at a two-day training of monitors on maternal health expenditure tracking in Gwale and Kumbotso Local Governments Areas (LGAs) of Kano State held at the Aminu Kano Centre for Democratic Studies (AKCDS), Mambayya House Kano, Kano State, said the CHRICED project of Social Mobilisation for Transparency and Accountability in the Implementation of Maternal Health Resource Budgets in Kano State is a citizen-driven project with the goal of ensuring the big budget figures allocated for healthcare in the state translate to quality maternal healthcare for people on the ground, especially in hard-to-reach rural areas.
Zikirullahi said the logic of this project is about the desire to raise collective consciousness of all citizens about their rights and responsibilities with respect to ensuring quality maternal care. “Knowing that health is a critical social service, which is at the heart of the welfare and wellbeing of citizens, CHRICED has been tirelessly working to ensure citizens put the issue of maternal healthcare on the front burner of the public discourse,” he said.
Zikirullahi said this training is one of the critical processes in the final preparation for the monitoring of the implementation of healthcare budgets in thevarious PHCs. “Our target is that at the end of this activity, you would have been sufficiently equipped with the technical capacity required to engage in data-driven monitoring of how maternal health funds are utilised across our respective PHCs,” he said.
He said CHRICED had always canvassed the idea that the right to quality and affordable healthcare is a matter, which is well addressed in the Constitution governing the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
Zikirullahi also said Agenda 2030, which outlines the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) puts forward certain key targets in the area of health, which remain relevant for measuring progress in the health sector in Kano state. He said Target 3.1 of the SDGs talks about reducing the global maternal mortality ratio to less than 70 per 100 000 live births by 2030 and SDG target 3.2 is focused on ending preventable deaths of newborns and children under-five years of age by 2030.
He said there is a lot of ongoing efforts by various countries with the aim of reducing neonatal mortality to at least as low as 12 per 1000 live births and under-five mortalities to at least as low as 25 per 1000 live births. Zikirullahi, however, said that these ambitious global targets would not be achieved if there were no commensurate effort at the local level. He said Nigeria’s dire maternal health indicators point to the fact that as stakeholders, citizen monitors in our respective communities have a lot of work do.
Zikirullahi said: “Your work as monitors is even more important because there is need to continuously scrutinize the expenditure cycle to establish if maternal health funds are trickling down to the PHCs at the local level. You have been carefully selected for this task and I am convinced, given the caliber of men and women in this room that you have what it takes to play this role. The importance of this work, apart from its foundational basis in the Constitution, comes from the fact that there are now a number of sources from which monies are pouring into the health sector in Kano State. Apart from the budget, other sources of health funds pouring into the health sector, include; the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS), the Contributory Health Scheme, the Kano Health Trust Fund and even the Basic Health Provision Fund, among others.”
He added: “With such quantum of financial resources coming into the health sector, we need to know how well it is translating into quality maternal health services for the good people of Kano State. Above all, we must not forget that these efforts are meant to help our families, communities, state and country get rid of the scourge of maternal mortality. Even if we are not conversant with the statistics, many of us have had one experience or the other where someone close to mother, a wife, sister, aunty, niece or us has died in the throes of childbirth. As monitors therefore, we must take this responsibility with a sense of commitment and dedication.”