The Nigeria Governors Forum (NGF) has pledged to progressively increase funding for primary health care by ensuring efficient budgeting allocation that aligns with their annual operational plans.
Kayode Fayemi, Ekiti State governor and chairman of the NGF, stated this on Wednesday, at the launch of the Primary Healthcare Centre Leadership Challenge with the theme, “Exceptional leadership, resilient primary health care, better outcomes”, held at the State House, Abuja.
Fayemi, speaking on behalf of the 36 governors, promised prompt release of approved budgets to the state PHC institutions.
The states also pledged to recruit the requisite health workforce to ensure that all primary health care facilities have the minimum staffing required for their level in line with the state’s minimum service package.
“On behalf of all of us, the 36 state governors, and members of the NGF, this is our statement of commitment to strengthening the primary health care system in Nigeria.
“Following the induction to the Seattle Declaration by the 36 governors in November 2019, hereby affirm our commitment to strengthen the primary health care system in the country.
“We, therefore, adopt and confirm our commitment in line with the Seattle Declaration as outlined below; improving the governance of the primary healthcare system at a sub-national level by fully implementing the primary health care under one roof policy, and providing active leadership for primary health care through regular engagement with relevant primary health care stakeholders, and quarterly primary health care performance review at the state executive council meetings
“Promote progressive increase in primary health care funding by ensuring efficient budgeting that is aligned to annual operational plans, promptly releasing approved budget to the state primary health care board, and primary health care facilities and ensuring that there is a mechanism in place for basic health care provision, fund implementation and oversight at the state and facility levels.
“Recruit requisite health workforce to ensure that all primary health care facilities have the minimum staffing requirements appropriate for their level in line with the state’s minimum service package.
“Institute a culture of use of evidence for decision making, by ensuring that the data quality across all primary health care facilities is progressively improved.
On his part, the country director, Bill and Belinda Gates Foundation, Jeremie Zoungrana, who congratulated the governors for accepting to support and be part of the PHC Leadership Challenge Initiative, said that the PHC Challenge Fund represents a unique opportunity to motivate and publicly recognise ownership and leadership at the subnational level.
“The Challenge Fund will also leverage other BMGF investments that focus on improving state-level data ownership, analysis, quality, and use.
“Under the Challenge, all 36 states are eligible for monetary grants awarded to one best performing and one most improved state within each of the country’s six geopolitical zones demonstrating the most progress against all indicators as per the agreed performance results framework as well as one state nationally displaying the most improved performance (total of 13 awards).
“The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is fully aligned with the government of Nigeria’s determination to reform and revitalise PHC through the current effort by the ministry of health and the national primary health care development agenda.
“We are encouraged by recent reports showing improvement in routine immunisation, skilled birth attendants, nutrition, malaria coverage indicators and declining cases of CVDPV2. This is encouraging and you all should be proud of this achievement,” Zoungrana said.