Segun Awofadeji in Bauchi
The Leadership Empowerment Advocacy and Development (LEAD), a local governance project recently organised a two-day ‘Consensus Workshop’ to empower Bauchi State government health officials on the development of the 2016-2020 State Strategic Health Development Plan (BSSHDP) towards promoting the health status of the people of the state.
The project is funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and implemented by RTI International.
At the opening ceremony held in Kaduna, the Chief of Party, LEAD/RTI, Tijani Muhammed, in his welcome remarks, said the LEAD project is collaborating with the government to support the development of the new 2016-2020 strategic health plan towards ensuring quality health service delivery across the state.
He explained that the “consensus workshop will provide an opportunity for the stakeholders to further deliberate and build consensus on the health sector strategic vision, mission, priorities and activities that will facilitate the medium term development of the health sector.
“As partners in progress, our effort is to complement and further enhance what you are already doing in the State and local governments, building upon the good work you have already started especially with the launching of the state government’s five-point health agenda tagged ‘Lafiya Garkuwa’ aimed at enhancing the health status of the people of the state.
“It is our belief that with the current partnership and collaboration, all our good efforts and initiatives as development partners to the State and Local Governments would be sustained even after the end of the project”, he added.
Muhammed said as part of its capacity building efforts, the project has implemented two capacity building activities for government officials in health governance and financing, equipping officials on developing and monitoring their state and local health sector budgets.
He noted that the state was blessed with focused and purposeful leadership as shown by the strides taken towards creating a rallying vision and strategic priorities that will guide the development of the health sector in the medium and long terms. He expressed happiness that the state governor had few months after his election rolled out a 5-point agenda for the health sector towards reversing the trend of some of the health and development indices of the state.
Declaring the workshop open, the state commissioner of Health, Dr. Halima Musa Mukkadas said the BSSHDP is a roadmap towards actualising the aspirations of reforming the health sector by the current administration of Governor Mohammed Abubakar.
The commissioner, who was visibly elated by the progress so far made by the LEAD/Bauchi government partnership towards achieving quality, efficient and effective health services to the people of the state, pointed out that “we are on the path of making another giant stride towards the attainment of health for all.”
While commending the LEAD/RTI and other development partners in the state for their support and interventions in different areas towards the improvement of healthcare delivery services across the state, she challenged the participants to “pay full attention and concentrate so that at the end, we will produce implementable plans that can lead to the attainment of our goal of the best healthcare services providers among states in the country.”
According to her, towards achieving the goals of BASSHDP (2016-2020), a number of strategic interventions and activities have been laid out in the implementation framework, reminding the participants to contribute positively because “five years ago, this same process was undertaken, which resulted in the existing SSHDP that now needs a roll-over”.
Speaking on the objectives and expectations of the workshop, the LEAD Health Governance Specialist, Dr. Ibrahim Bichi explained that the consensus workshop was expected bring out a logical result framework to be designed ‘‘to guide our activities so that the development within the state health sector can further be accelerated.”
Bichi, who was the coordinator of the workshop, also noted that the LEAD project was collaborating with Bauchi state Government to support the development of the new (2016-2020) Strategic Health Action Plan for the betterment of health system and services of the state.
“And you may recall that LEAD project supported the ‘GAP and Situational Analysis’ workshop conducted on the 2010-2015 State Strategic Development Plan in October 2015. This was aimed at empowering government officials in Bauchi state to conduct the Action Plan workshop as a second phase in developing the 2016-2020 State Strategic Health Development Plan.”
The workshop, which was attended by about 100 participants including senior government health officials from the state Ministry of Health, local government councils, development partners, CSOs and the media, among others, deliberated on strategies, interventions, indicators and baselines by thematic groups.