Governors ensure the construction of a resilient primary health care system

The 36 state governors under the aegis of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) on Wednesday reiterated their commitment to building a resilient primary health care system across the country.

NGF Chairman, Governor Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti State gave the assurance at the State House, Abuja during the launch of the Primary Health Care (PHC) Leadership Challenge Fund.

“Today, we are pleased to reaffirm our commitment to building a resilient primary healthcare system, as evidence has shown that PHC has the potential to extend universal health coverage to 80% of the population.

“As part of our enduring partnership with the Bill & Melinda Gates and Aliko Dangote Foundations, we hosted a roundtable on November 12-13, 2019 in Seattle, USA, to reflect on the development agenda of state government in immunization, primary health care and human capital development.

“This culminated in the Seattle Declaration which reaffirms NGF commitments to strengthen leadership and accountability of the PHC system at the state level.

“Yesterday the National Bureau of Statistics released the MICS/NICS results and it is gratifying to note an improvement in some of the health indices such as vaccination coverage which increased from 33% to 57%.

“However, we know that much more needs to be done to achieve the desired results, especially in the areas of human resources for health, financing and management.

“The PHC Leadership Challenge aims to address these bottlenecks as it strives to build a resilient PHC system.

“On our side, the Nigeria Governors’ Forum, representing the thirty-six states of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, has risen to the challenge. We have done this in the past with polio eradication and we are ready to do it again for primary health care system strengthening, especially given our recent experience with the COVID-19 pandemic,” Governor Fayemi said.

In his remarks, the National Director of the Bill and Belinda Gates Foundation, Mr. Jeremie Zoungrana, commended the 36 governors for endorsing the Seattle Declaration with key commitments to improving primary health care and accepted include PHC as a standing item on the agenda of your monthly NGF meetings. .

“To support these commitments, the PHC Leadership Challenge Fund has been launched to address critical leadership gaps in the development of primary health care systems in Nigeria.

“These gaps have led to inefficiencies, underfunding, lack of prioritization and poor results for women, children and communities.

“The PHC Challenge Fund represents a unique opportunity to motivate and publicly recognize subnational ownership and leadership.

“PHC health indicators will be tracked to help the NGF strengthen accountability at the governor level, improve performance management, and strengthen investments in critical PHC areas.

“The Challenge Fund will also leverage other BMGF investments that focus on improving state-level data ownership, analysis, quality and use.”

According to him, “under the challenge, all 36 states are eligible for monetary grants awarded to one of the best performing and most improved states in each of the six geopolitical zones of the country demonstrating the most progress against all of them. indicators in accordance with the agreed performance results framework as well as a State with the most improved performance nationally (total of 13 awards).

“The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation fully aligns with the determination of the Nigerian government to reform and revitalize PHC through the ongoing efforts of the Ministry of Health and the National Primary Health Care Development Programme.

“We are encouraged by recent reports showing an improvement in routine immunization, skilled birth attendants, nutrition, malaria coverage indicators and a drop in CVDPV2 cases. It is encouraging and you should all be proud of this achievement.

“While the team continues to engage key stakeholders and the independent verification team to collect and verify the data that will be used for the awards, I would like to draw your attention to the MICS 2021 result released yesterday.

“These results, while encouraging as they show improvement in key indicators, should also spur us to go further,” he said.

For his part, the National President of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Archbishop Daniel Okoh, has instructed governments to vigorously pursue the initiative.

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Governors ensure the construction of a resilient primary health care system

Jennifer C. Burleigh