– As Kano gets 67% of agreed 2018 milestones
For the purpose of strengthening health care delivery system for optimal benefit in Kano state, the state government, Bill Melinda Gates and Dangote Foundations held a teleconferencing discussion, Tuesday, at 2018 end of year review, at Africa House, Government House, Kano state.
The trio-discussion assessed how the health care sector paired in the year under review, 2018, when the state enlisted feats achieved so far from one sub-sector to another within the larger health sector. From planning, budgeting, execution and review mechanism.
While both Gates and Dangote commended the state government for being clearly focused and committed, the Minister of Health Prof. Isaac Adewale, expressed his satisfaction also especially in the area of synergy between government and communities.
To clearly understand the close nexus relationship that exists between the state and the Emirate Council, Kano Emir, Muhammadu Sanusi II, after saluting the state for sustaining interventions in the health care delivery system, he commends Ganduje for scaling up the budget provision of the health sector to 15 percent.
Dr Khalid Muhammad representing the World Health Organisation, (WHO), at the discussion praised the state for creating conducive environment to all the development partners working in the state, “…and for sustaining health care delivery system in the state,” he appreciates.
Dangote’s appreciation of Kano state’s effort in good financial management in the health sector, particularly through the services of the external auditing, was described as encouraging an issuance of a clean bill of health in the health care management across sub-sectors of the health sector.
Another success story for the state, as being enunciated by Dangote Foundation, was that of the existing synergy between the state government and the Emirate Council, which fruited into the birth of the Kano State Emirate Council Committee on Health (KECCoH).
Governor Ganduje’s administration’s efforts and interventions in the health sector, in the year under review, was showcased by the state Commissioner of Health, Dr Kabiru Ibrahim Getso, who discussed all the technical explanations in the presence of the governor during the teleconferencing.
Dr Getso reveals that, “Of the 6 agreed 2018 milestones for the health programme, 4 have been completed. Which represents 67%. As a priority for the health programme and 100% Routine Immunisation Funds for Q1, Q2, Q3 and Q4 2018 deposited into the respective accounts, all funds for RI have been released to respective accounts.”
Another priority of reintroducing and scaling up of Missed Opportunity for Vaccination (MOV), tracking in secondary health facilities, Getso discloses that, “MOV training conducted across all SHFs. While additional 5,122 children have been immunised through MOV between July and September, 2018.”
The priority of finalising roll-out of the enhanced community engagement (CE) strategy across all 44 local governments for Routine Immunisation, Ganduje administration, according to Getso, “Community Engagement strategy rolled out 96% of Mai Unguwas in the state now line-list new-born and track unimmunised children in their settlements.”
Expanding work plan activities to include coordination of nutrition and malaria activities in the state, as a priority area, the commissioner, said “Already malaria and nutrition coordination activities have been included and implemented in work plan.”
For the expansion of Drugs Revolving Funds (DRF) scheme operations to additional 30 PHCs and strengthening financial management in all DRF health facilities, the health commissioner posits that, “30 PHCs have been fully renovated and will commence operations in January, 2019. And 655 of 699, which represents 94% of facilities implementing DRF now have functional accounts.”
The sixth milestone as a priority is developing 2019 Annual Operation Plan, which Dr Getso assured that, “2019 AOP has been developed and currently under review for finalisation.”
Across the three popular thematic areas, in the state, according to the commissioner, there were major achievements recorded in the year under review.
On the planned Integrated Supportive Supervision (ISS) visits that were conducted to both primary and secondary facilities, it was highlighted by the commissioner that, two out of ten identified dilapidated secondary health facilities during ISS have been renovated, while the outstanding 8 have been included in the 2019 state’s budget for renovation, among others.
Availability of essential drugs and equipment, as a thematic area, he said the state has “… completed renovation of 30 health facilities to commence DRF implementation, 30 additional primary health care facilities were capitalised for DRF under the Health Programme increasing proportion DRF facilities from 57% to 60%.”
Adding that, “150 staff from State Ministry of Health, Health Management Board and DMCSA were trained on use of automated record keeping and management of drug commodities at SHF.”
In the area of Referral Network System (RNS) and Medical Field Unit (MFU) as another thematic area it is stated by Dr Getso that “RNS pilot has been concluded in 12 primary health care centres and 3 secondary health facilities. We set up Medical Field Units to coordinate referral across 36 secondary health facilities and commenced phase scale-up of RNS in 65 PHCs clustered around 14 secondary health facilities.”
To further ensure the strengthening of grassroot inclusion into the health care delivery process, Dr Getso reveals that, 97 percent of the traditional community leaders, called Masu Unguwanni, have since commenced reconciliation meetings across all the 44 local government areas.
Indicating that, Mai Unguwa (singular form of community leaders) line-listing newborns in their localities was not available in the first quarter of 2018. But in the “Q2 of the same 2018, there was 88% and 97% in the Q3. While there was no available indicator of Mai Unguwa attending meetings at the Q1 of 2018. But in the Q2 the percentage rose to 86% and 91% in the Q3 of the same 2018,” says the commissioner.
As obtained in many experiences, challenges are largely inescapable. “Despite progress made, challenges still exist around quality of meetings between traditional leaders and health workers, data quality and defaulters tracking. Kano State Emirate Council Committee on Health (KECCoH) will support and supervise the conduct of reconciliation meetings to improve its quality,” Getso highlighted.
Explaining that, “Community Resource Persons will be trained to support Mai Unguwas in line-listing new-borns and intensifying defaulter tracking. The state is currently working to smartly integrate CE activities into the broader health sector activities.”
Priority setting for the upcoming year 2019 has already been situated by the state government, with specific time lines as disclosed by Ganduje’s commissioner of health Dr Getso. He reveals that there will be a “…scale up referral linkage between primary and secondary health facilities in May, 2019. Develop and commence implementation of the smart integrated community engagement plan for health in all the 44 LGAs, which is slated for June, 2019.”
Others are, as he puts them “Develop and commence implementation of capacity building plan to support LGA teams to effectively manage RI programme at their level, for June, 2019, decentralise SPHCMB Integrated Supportive Supervision (ISS) to LGA teams, for June, 2019 and develop and initiate implementation of a concrete plan to radically improve quality of care, slated for June, 2019.”
It is noteworthy to note that, discussions and presentations are usually accompanied by usual demands/requests, prayers to be cutely precise. The state commissioner for health concludes his technical presentation with prayers to the state government, Kano Emirate Council, Development Partners, Bill and Melinda Gates and Aliko Dangote Foundations.
For the state he prays that the state will “Deposit Q1, 2019 RI and Health Programme funds by December, 2018 and support development of joint work plan for the RI and health programmes.”
Calls on the Emirate Council to “Continue and sustain the current leadership and partnership on the community engagement strategy.”
For the development partners he urges them to “Sustain on-going technical support to the SMoH, PHCMB, HMB and DMCSA in the implementation and monitoring of Health MoU Addendum work plan, while providing mentorship and capacity building of the staff on programme management.”
Getso prays Bill and Melinda Gates and Aliko Dangote Foundations to “Deposit Q3 and Q4, 2018 Health Programme funds by end of November, 2018 and deposit Q1, 2019 health programme funds by January, 2019.”
Commitment, as assured by the commissioner for the participating ministries, departments and agencies are summed up in the pronouncement that, “State Ministry of Health will sustain oversight of the participating agencies for successful implementation of the health MoU and participating agencies will continue to ensure smooth implementation of the Annual Operation Work Plans.”
As transparent as it went, governor Ganduje was evidently impressed as he promised to improve on all that the state is doing for the singular reason that, health sector is one of his priority areas. After thanking all the stakeholders from Gates and Dangote Foundations, he commended all the development partners, state health workers and other non-state actors.
Anwar is the Chief Press Secretary to the Governor of Kano State