“We must put in place measures to ensure inclusiveness, responsiveness, fairness and integrity in policy making and service delivery” — Kaduna Governor, on June 12th, 2023
By NASIR DAMBATTA
Kaduna, a state with an estimated population of about ten million people and 1,064 primary healthcare facilities was experiencing a man-made backward slide, owing to what discerning observers considered as weak management capacity in the state’s healthcare system. Now there is the growing consensus that five recent and unforgettable actions of Governor Uba Sani have given a major facelift to Kaduna’s healthcare delivery system. Let us maize through them, in no particular order.
Number one, is the approval by the governor, dedicating 15% of Kaduna’s annual budget to the health sector. This landmark disclosure was reported the day key stakeholders stormed Kaduna, notably officials of the National Primary Health Care Development Agency, World Health Organization (WHO) and UNICEF among others. The interaction between Governor Sani and the stakeholders revolved around issues of upgrading primary healthcare services with the aim of ensuring universal health coverage and routine immunisation for children and women.
Number two, Governor Uba Sani ensured the distribution of medical equipment and consumables to 290 Primary Healthcare Centres (PHCs) of the State. The objective of committing huge resources to the supply of ultramodern healthcare facilities was to enhance access to affordable and efficient healthcare services especially in the new spirit of rural renewal.
The governor was on point to have offered that the initiative’s impact goes beyond the medical equipment but underscored the determination to invest heavily in the healthcare workforce, their training, and providing an enabling environment for professional excellence.
Hear him: “Our goal is to provide them with the tools they need to make informed decisions, deliver precise diagnoses, and administer effective treatments”.
Number three, the Governor inaugurated five mobile medical trucks, equipped with state-of-the-art facilities to provide medical services to communities that are difficult to reach.
It is obvious that the mobile trucks policy will address the problems of long and difficult terrains that make it nearly impossible for rural communities to access health services.
His words: “With these medical trucks, screening and diagnosis of ailment will be brought to the doorstep of the citizens of Kaduna State. Our administration is committed to taking all necessary steps to make significant progress towards achieving universal health coverage”.
In a nutshell, the vision of his administration is to build and strengthen an enhanced health system that is adequately equipped, well-staffed with comprehensive, accessible and affordable services to deliver distanced standard of care.
Number four? The approval for the recruitment of 89 medical doctors was a game-changer. This approval for the continuation of the recruitment of 89 medical doctors to address the staffing gap identified in 2017, as recommended by a special committee, gladdened the hearts of Kaduna populace no end. This initiative, the governor once revealed, was amongst others, designed to boost doctors’ morale and improve access to quality healthcare for the residents.
Number five, Governor Sani gave full backing to the partnership with a United Nations agency to confront the growing menace of the consumption of psychotropic substances in the State. The partnership with this UN body, known as the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), marked a significant milestone in the efforts to combat substance abuse in the State. This move will also be helpful to human capital development and citizen engagement.
Evidently, these five major steps by the administration of Senator Uba Sani has changed the history of Kaduna State’s healthcare services in an unprecedented way. It is therefore obvious that the governor will go down in history as a leader who gave a befitting touch to modernizing the Kaduna healthcare system, while making it so affordable that people at the grassroots will not be left out. This all-embracing strategy has been at the heart of the government’s SUSTAIN Agenda.
Dambatta is Senior Special Assistant on Print Media to the Governor of Kaduna State, Nigeria