The Executive Governor of Kano State His Excellency Abdullahi Umar Ganduje has expressed his administration’s readiness to fully operationalize the provisions of the Primary Health Care Under-One-Roof (PHCUOR) policy in Kano state, which is aimed at reducing prevalent fragmentation in the delivery of primary health care services at state level through the integration of all PHC services under one authority.
“You have called on us to establish the board [PHC Agency Governing Board]. This is very important; in fact, this is the next thing we are doing before we appoint commissioners. We started with permanent secretaries, then managing directors and directors-general. Now, we will constitute boards for different parastatals of the government. So, I assure you the PHC board is part of that arrangement,” Ganduje told a delegation from the Partnership for Advocacy in Child and Family Health at Scale (PACFaH@Scale) project when they paid him an advocacy visit in his office on Tuesday.
“Because you need experienced people to be guiding the civil servants on what to do, especially in terms of managing of resources and seeing to the conduct of the staff in terms of employment, discipline and disengagement. So, we thank you for that reminder,” he added.
Otherwise referred to as PAS, the PACFaH@Scale project is a national health advocacy project anchored by the non-profit development Research and Projects Centre (dRPC); in Kano state, it is implemented by a coalition of health-focused civil society organizations and professional health associations. The project’s issue areas are: Routine Immunization, Family Planning, Child Killer Diseases (CKDs), and Primary Health Care Under One Roof (PHCUOR).
Ganduje described health and education as two most important variables in human development adding that the focus of his administration’s second term in office would be on the duo of health and education. He also thanked the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (funders of the PAS project) and Dangote Foundation for their contributions towards improving healthcare services in Kano state, urging members of the Nigerian business community to emulate them. “If our rich people would emulate the likes of Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and Dangote Foundation, many of our social problems could have been resolved and the gap between the rich and poor bridged,” he said.
While speaking on the challenges threatening the uptake of Family Planning services in northern Nigeria, Ganduje said sociocultural factors were responsible for people’s nonchalant attitude towards FP hence his administration’s resolve to adopt a new approach to the issue. “Here in Kano, we have adopted a new approach that in a way will help solve the problem, which is the free and compulsory primary and secondary education – including girls’ education. By so doing, we prolong the period girls stay in school and by implication; they get married at a better age…Once someone is educated, then most of the problems will be resolved.”
Although Kano has since 2012 established a state primary health care development agency known as the Kano State Primary Health Care Management Board (KSPHCMB), a Governing Board, as contained in either the law establishing the agency or the PHCUOR policy, has never been constituted for the agency. The Governing Board is meant to empower KSPHCMB to become “an administratively autonomous and self-accounting” institution. Although law number of 7 of 2012 which establishes the KSPHCMB had recently been reviewed and aligned with current PHCOUR policy of the Federal Government of Nigeria, by the 8th Kano State House of Assembly (2015-2019), the reviews and recommendations were never passed into law.
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