Maternal and newborn health programmes are to receive greater attention from the Bauchi State Government towards improving the performance of the health sector in the rest of the 2016 fiscal year.
The effort, which is also to set the State on the path of recovery from the disruption to its health services caused by the Boko Haram insurgency in the north east zone, will be carried out with a World Bank credit assistance of $25 million.
The money is the State’s share of a credit allocation of $125 million for five of the States in the zone, which was ravaged by insurgency, causing disruption to health services in many areas. In Bauchi State, health services have been stretched due to the influx of about 1 million refugees.
Dr. Mukaddas views explained
Bauchi State Commissioner for Health, Dr. Halima Mukaddas, revealed this World Bank ‘Marshall Plan’ for health aimed at improving key indices, particularly skilled birth attendance, immunisation, and nutrition while speaking at a journalists’ roundtable on the State’s 2015 health budget scorecard. Dr. Mukaddas explained;
The plan encompasses the management and control of six key diseases, including HIV/AIDS and malaria, and will support family planning, adding that the funds will not go through government or any of its agencies. It goes direct to health facilities.
Under the assistance programme, facilities are to provide health services free, and will be reimbursed direct for the services they provide. Facilities will be reimbursed $12 for every pregnant woman provided with skilled birth attendance, and for every child who is fully immunised, facilities will receive a reimbursement of $6. There are varying sums for treating children with malaria and other common ailments. Dr. Mukaddas reiterated;
For staff emoluments, including allowances, 50 per cent will be added to the amount received by each facility for services provided. Facilities will be advanced money to undertake basic renovation, purchase medicaments, instruments and equipment all with minimal interference from the government
Under the restoration initiative, which is on the five-point health agenda of the Governor Mohammed Abubakar, the Bauchi State Government will make one primary health care (PHC) centre fully functional in each of the State’s 323 wards. Because of inequitable distribution of the past, not all wards have PHC facilities, and a facility will be built in each of wards without a health facility.
In respect of the health budget scorecard, Dr. Mukaddas said,
Bauchi State is following the lead of the Federal Government in terms of transparency. We will learn from the lapses of 2015 in the 2016-17 budget...We’re coming of age, and the whole community - through their representatives, including CSOs - are called upon to make inputs into the planning and implementation processes
The Bauchi State Office of MamaYe-Evidence for Action collaborated with the Bauchi State Accountability Mechanism for Maternal and Newborn Health (BaSAM) and the State Ministry of Health to organize a journalists’ roundtable as part of the dissemination of the 2015 Bauchi State Health Budget Scorecard.
The roundtable was held on Tuesday, 26 July 2016.