Health Indices: Kaduna making Significant Progress, says Commissioner
By Uangbaoje Alex, Kaduna
Kaduna State Commissioner for Health, Dr. Amina Baloni, has said that government, is work tirelessly to change the health indices in the State, noting that government was not happy with the situation.
Dr. Baloni, who stated this while playing host to Reproductive Maternal Newborn Adolescent Elderly Health (RMNCAEH) Champions, supported by the Legislative Initiative for Sustainable Development (LISDEL), said the situation is already turning around as a result of several interventions by the State.
She explained that the current General Household Survey by State Bureau of Statistics, has shown that the state has recorded lots of improvements in the indices except skilled birth attendants, saying government is working to tackle issue of behavior which is largely responsible for why women don’t like to deliver at the facilities.
“We are not happy with our indices, we know in the last 10 years government has made a lot of investments in the health sector, but you know it will take some time to be seen and we are beginning to see the dividends of what has happened.
“The recent Household Survey, released by KBS, has shown that we have made significant progress in all our indices, except for skilled birth attendants; we have improved in nutrition and other areas, even the Antenatal is not low coverage that’s the problem, is the delivery that’s the problem.” The Commissioner said.
She called on all stakeholders to join hands with the government in sensitizing communities on the need to change their behavior and visit health facilities during childbirth.
Dr. Baloni, also noted that on the supply side, though the state does not have enough midwives, but that the Primary Healthcare Agency, recently employed 100 midwives and that the ministry is on the process is recruiting 289 nurses and midwives, which she hoped would improve the system.
She said another problem the ministry is facing is the fact that most staff don’t want to go on posting, saying “you post people, they don’t turn up and if they do, after 3 days they go back and this is a problem.
“Communities are not helping us, because sometimes they don’t speak up when facilities are empty, unless we know, we can’t act. Another thing is that when you post people the whole community will be saying ‘please this one is married’.
“People need to understand that posting is part of civil service system. You can’t continue to stay at a particular place for the rest of your carrier. And we want advocacy group like you to also help us reorient on the issue.”
Speaking on behalf of the RMNCAEH Champions, Amina Lawal, told the Commissioner, that their request, among other things was to demand an increase in number of skilled health care workers; training and retraining, increase in salary, and timely payment.
She added that they also want the Commissioner, who is one of them as a Champions, to lead other Champions in promote demand and increase access to reproductive health services, reduce maternal mortality and morbidity through the provision of timely, safe, appropriate, and effective healthcare services before, during and after childbirth for women.
She further requested that “include and maintain dedicated budget lines and provide adequate funding for Routine Immunization, Family Planning, and other RMNCAH-N activities as well as primary health care programs.
“Improve implementation of community based maternal, prenatal, and death surveillance and reporting as it is key to reducing the maternal and child mortality indices. Strengthen institutional arrangements for policy implementation in the State’s Health sector.
“Improve FP: Budget cash backing for procurement of consumables and commodities, and Distribution. Timely cash backing for the health sector interventions by the State. Timely cash backing of 25% state counterpart fund and 1% equity fund for BHCPF.”