As Nigerians continue to grumble over the poor state of healthcare in the country, and consistently point accusing fingers at the government for its failure to guarantee access to quality healthcare for all, the Resource Center for Human Rights and Civic Education (CHRICED), has sensitized Gwale citizens on their responsibility for effective monitoring and tracking of budgetary allocations for maternal healthcare in their constituency.
CHRICED, a Nigerian nonprofit which uses civics, advocacy and outreach to mobilize vulnerable and marginalized segment of the population, had Tuesday hosted residents and stakeholders from Gwale Local Government Area of Kano state to a one-day community accountability town-hall meeting on maternal health.
While addressing those in attendance at the townhall, Zuwaira Omar, CHRICED’s contact and mobilization officer, encouraged the people of Gwale to hold the government accountable on disbursement and management of funds meant for maternal health. She stressed the need for citizens to monitor how funds were being spent by public office holders so as to influence government policy on reducing maternal mortality in the state.
According to her, “So many citizens don’t know that it’s their right to monitor money being released for their betterment. Most at times, they leave that responsibility solely in the hands of the government. The populace need to do more in monitoring maternal health projects since it is their own responsibility,” she added.
Abdullahi Sule, programs director for Youth and Environmental Development Association (YEDA), while presenting a paper on piloting constituency meetings for approved budget implementation, enlightened the community members on the need to regularly attend such constituency meetings. “For development of our healthcare system, we need to go back to constituency meetings and also equip constituency offices and make them functional,” he said.
“If constituency meetings are frequently held with the electorate with effective feedback, major issues would be dealt with. If constituency meetings become functional, electorates will also have the right to demand for explanation from public office holders as regards unimplemented projects for which funds have been released,” said Sule.
Also speaking at the meeting, the vice chairman of Gwale LGA, Ado Gambo, said the LGA regularly conduct constituency meetings with stakeholders to address various challenges emanating from the constituency adding that the LGA had many Primary Healthcare Centres (PHCs) and clinics which were all functional.
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