Tides Of Ovation For Gov Sani Bello’s Bold Steps For Primary Healthcare

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Niger Governor, Sani Bello
By; BALA  B. BITRUS, Minna
The Coordinator, Niger State Advocacy Team on Primary Healthcare Under One Roof and the Global Promoters for Community Initiatives, Kalejaiye Olasunkanmi has commended Governor Abubakar Sani Bello of Niger state for the bold steps taken to revamp primary health care sector in the state.
Olasunkanmi noted that the recent N1.29 worth agreement signed between the state government and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to strengthen the quality of health care service delivery at primary health care sector of the state as well as the procurement of some basic hospital equipment for PHCs in the 274 wards of the state were clear testimony of the government’ s commitment to the good health care delivery.
Olasunkanmi who is leading other civil society organizations on a coalition to press for a better funding and management of primary health care delivery system in Niger state, however lamented the inability of the Niger state government to put in place a statutory board for the state’s primary health care delivery system since the dissolution of the previous board over two and half years ago.
The present administration in the state had knocked out all the boards of parastatals in the state at it’s assumption of office and has not been able to put in place a new board for the SPHCDA despite series of advocacies and prayers for it.
The Coordinator of the Global Promoters for Community Initiatives and Primary Health Care Under One Roof in Niger state, Kalejaiye Olasunkanmi said at a media briefing in Minna that the absence of a properly constituted board for the SPHCDA in the state was a major set back which was denying the state government the benefits derivable from development partners and donor agencies the world over.
Olasunkanmi noted that though the state government could go into signing bilateral agreements with different foundations, the mere absence of a board for the PHC in the state would continue to rob the state of a full and wider windows for the development of the state health care system particularly the gateway primary health care delivery sector.
Speaking on the recent groundbreaking deal between the state government and the reputable Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation for N1. 29 billion support to the state’s primary health care delivery sector where the Bill and Melinda Gates foundation is to provide over 80% of the N1.29 billion deal, Olasukanmi said Niger state was still far away from leveraging on the expansive windows that abunds from health care development partners.
He said the Primary Healthcare Under One Roof which has been in the forefront advocating for a better primary health care sector in the state, has, along with other key players, advocated for a Costed Minimum Service Package, (MSP) for the state primary health care delivery sector.
The draft, the (MSP) is supposed to be endorsed by a sitting governing council of the State Primary Health Care Development Agency which is however not in place in Niger state.
He said the administration’s efforts at revamping the primary health care sector of the state was commendable but pleaded for the establishment of a board for the PHC in the state to enable the SPHCDA function properly and leverage on all frontiers for development.
Kalejaiye Olasunkanmi said a constituted statutory board for the SPHCDA was a constitutional requirement stressing that it is the board that is supposed to govern the agency and oversees the activities of the agency in the state.
He argued that if Niger state were to be rated on the performances of it’s PHC, the state would score zero because of the absence of a properly constituted board for the SPHCDA.
In a related development, the Minister of Health, Professor Adewole Folorunso Isaac has similarly applauded Governor Bello’s demonstrative commitment to the development of the state primary health care delivery sector.
He spoke at the commissioning of a new primary health care centre at Fukka village in Munya council area of Niger State.
He described Governor Bello as a trail blazer in the development of basic health services.

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