Dysfunctional structure, poor budget performance worsening maternal, child mortality in Kano
Mismanagement of resources meant to salvage critical public health burden has been responsible for persistent loss of mothers and newborn children in Kano State, a study has revealed.
Besides, the outcome of the study presented to members of the public by Resource Centre for Human Rights and Civil Education (CHRICED) at the weekend in Kano, indicated that poor and inadequate funding of capital projects at primary health centres, had led to the worsening mothers and child mortality in the state.
Tagged, “Towering Hopes and Aborted Dreams: Assessing the Efficiency and Effectiveness of Government Spending on Maternal, Newborn and Child Healthcare in Kano State,” the report, which covered Kumbotso and Gwale council areas, intended to provide an evidence based justification and basic questions, how efficiently allocated funds meant to address social challenges, particularly in relation to health issues were used.
The study also undertook an attempt to establish and understand the extent to which the Kano State Government respected accountability mechanisms in health financing, particularly in relation to justification of value for money and proper use of resources in the general interest of the populace.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) data showed nearly 20 per cent of all global maternal deaths occur in Nigeria. In 2015 for instance, the country’s estimated maternal mortality ratio was over 800 maternal deaths per 100,000 live births.
Considering its population and inadequate facilities in both human and materials, Kano became a health burden in the country, including maternal and newborn mortality rate.
Findings in the 62-page document, confirmed establishment of quite a number of Kano State Government’s policies on general and primary healthcare, particularly its policy on free maternal health and ante-natal care, free immunisation, vaccination and emergency healthcare, health contributory scheme for financing health, trust fund and functional drugs revolving funds in health facilities.
The survey also revealed government’s commitment and commendation in upward review of budgetary allocation to health, especially increase from less than 13 per cent in previous years to over 15 per cent in the 2020 budget, an improvement on Governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje’s administration, which was also in line with the minimum recommendation of Abuja declaration on health.
However, the study revealed that no specific provision was made for primary healthcare issues even when 90 per cent of allocation for healthcare was largely deployed to recurrent expenditure, including payment of overhead cost, workers salaries, even of those who are barely qualified to render maternity care to health seekers who needed them most, among other deficiencies.