From Maduabuchi Nmeribeh, Kano
The UNICEF has promised continuous support and partnership towards the improvement of primary healthcare system in Kano state, commending the state government for its huge material and financial investment in the health sector.
The office-in-cahrge, UNICEF Field Office, Kano, Mr. Michael Banda, who spoke during the 2021 Primary Healthcare Summit, held at Coronation Hall, Government House, Kano, particularly commended Governor Abdullahi Ganduje for making the health of Kano residents, a major priority.
He said UNICEF was pleased with Ganduje’s policies in the health sector, which is giving prominence to the health of women and children in the state, pointing out that good health is wealth.
According to him, UNICEF which is a major partner and stakeholder in the state’s health sector is impressed with the primary healthcare system in Kano, adding that the body is actually planning bigger support to the system in the state.
He said that, “UNICEF is happy with Kano state government on development and investment in health issues, particularly, in the primary healthcare system. We reaffirm our commitment to support Kano both in technical and financial terms to ensure that the health aspirations of Kano people are met.”
Mr. Banda urged other development partners, corporate bodies and good spirited individuals to support the state Primary Healthcare Board in its concerted efforts towards ensuring good health of Kano people.
In his remarks during the Summit, Kano state Governor, Dr. Abdullahi Umar Ganduje, assured of his determination to continue to support all aspects of primary healthcare system, with a view to improving healthy population in the state.
According to him, “to demonstrate our commitment to primary healthcare under one roof, following the first ever Summit in 2019, the state government was able to fulfil most of its obligations during the Summit. And in some instances surpassing the promises earlier made.”
Ganduje described as timely and important the 2021 Kano Primary Healthcare Summit, with the theme: ‘Strengthening Primary Healthcare Towards Attainment of Universal Health Coverage Through Full Implementation of Minimum Service Package.’
He explained that, “government is fully committed to implement similar policies, especially by our decision to vigorously implement the minimum service package alongside the Task Shifting and Task Sharing Policy.”
Ganduje, however, pointed out that, for mutual accountability purposes, there was a need to set up a committee that would make follow-up to ensure full implementation of the policy.
“The state government has set up a committee under the leadership of the Chairman Governing Board of the State Primary Health Care Management Board, the Madakin Gaya and District Head of Ajingi, and representatives from the office of the Secretary to State Government, Ministry of Health, Ministry for Local Governments.
“Others are representatives from the five Emirates in the state. With the Secretariat at the State Primary Health Care Management Board,” he added.
He further disclosed that, the committee would be updating the government and the people of Kano state on regular basis, on the achievements and success recorded.
Ganduje maintained that, “in order for us to achieve the desired goals, we must collaborate with development partners, government organisations and community.
So all all hands must be on deck to also address the long term systematic health care system for the full implementation of the minimum service package.”
According to him, the philosophy behind the Investment Summit would create and strengthen synergy that is critical for the overall improvement in the health of Kano people.
“It brings together people from different walks of life to synergise and mobilize resources from stakeholders, from government, philanthropists, traditional and religious leaders and members of the community.
“Primary Health Care fully acknowledges that our evolving health care primary system is making steady progress compared to other primary health care elsewhere,” he said.
Ganduje emphasized that, “all stakeholders must remain resolute and continue to work together to get the quality, equitable and reliable health services for the state.
“We are resolute to continue driving people-oriented policies, and programmes for the betterment of the people of Kano state.
“To ensure PHC Investment Plan sees the light of the day, the state government is committed to invest resources to improve PHC infrastructure, such as health facility upgrade, procuring and distributing best PHC equipments and employment of additional personnel.”
In his speech, the state Commissioner of Health, Dr. Aminu Ibrahim Tsanyawa who took time to enumerate the achievements of Governor Ganduje in the health sector stated that, “the concept of a minimum service package (MSP) or an essential service package (ESP) is rooted in the need to provide a package of public health and clinical interventions that are not only cost effective, but socially and economically accessible to the population, especially, the poor masses.
In his welcome address, the Executive Secretary of Kano state Primary Healthcare Board, Dr. Tijjani Hussain, underscored the need to develop and encourage the primary healthcare system,, noting that, “as you are all aware, and as you all know, COVID-19 has exposed us, it has told us that our healthcare system needs improvement.
“This is why we develop the MSP. The full implementation will guarantee our health facilities to deliver adequate healthcare. Government can not do it alone. Government needs everybody on board to ensure that quality healthcare goes round the nooks and cranny of Kano state.”
The Summit was well attended by different stakeholders, ranging from primary healthcare experts, development partners, government agencies, committed individuals, among others.