Irregular budget releases and cash backing are the major factors militating against the performance of health sector budget in Kano State, says Hafsat Kolo, co-chair of the Accountability Mechanism on Maternal, Newborn and Child Health in Kano State (AMMKaS); a coalition of civil society and media organisations as well government officials working to promote accountability in the state’s health sector.
“Release is a major challenge when it comes to budget implementation; budget releases and cash backing are necessary if we seek to achieve improvement in budget performance,” says Kolo while presenting a scorecard on the performance of Family Planning (FP) and Free Maternal, Newborn and Child Health (FMNCH) budgets in the 2017 Kano State Health Budget.
Kolo was speaking at a dissemination event for the scorecards which were developed by the Community Health and Research Initiative (CHR) in collaboration with AMMKaS; the event was organised as part of the Open Kano State Ministry of Health (#OpenKSMoH) campaign on Friday in Kano.
The FP and FMNCH scorecards were said to have been developed from secondary analysis of the state’s 2017 budget, relevant reports, documents and interactions with key FP and MNCH focal persons in the state. It is expected that the scorecards would be used by CSOs and the media to strategically influence actions that will ensure timely release of budgets for FP and FMNCH in the state’s 2018 health budget as well as promote transparency and accountability in the utilization of the budgeted funds.
The scorecards recommended that the Kano State Ministry of Health, in the principle of the #OpenKNSMoH, ensured improved access to information for MNCH and FP budgets through quarterly interactive dialogues with CSOs and the media. The scorecards also recommended that the health ministry ensured prompt release of FP budgets as well as availability of MNCH drugs in all secondary facilities.
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