…says 70% of maternal funds diverted to pay salaries, another running cost
By Bashir Bello, KANO
Worried by cases of maternal mortality recorded in the country, the Executive Director, Resource Centre For Human Rights and Civic Education, CHRICED, Ibrahim Zikirullahi has on Monday decried what he described as gross underfunding of maternal healthcare in Kano State.
This was as he said seventy per cent of maternal funds meant to address maternal, newborn and child healthcare were diverted and used to pay salaries and other running and operational costs.
Zikirullahi stated this while unveiling findings of a three years baseline study carried out by the organization tagged “Assessing the Efficiency and Effectiveness of Government Spending on Maternal, Newborn and Child Healthcare in Kano State.”
He said the primary healthcare facilities in the two local government areas – Gwale and Kumbotso selected for the baseline study were an eyesore and 40 per cent operational.
According to him, “About 70 per cent of the budgetary allocations were used to pay salaries and other running and operation costs, leaving virtually nothing for the provision of essential facilities and medicines for the patients who visited the grossly inadequate healthcare facilities in the two local governments. Therefore, the capital expenditure is not much to impact the lives of the people.
“Most of the primary healthcare centres are more or less an eyesore because we found that there are no basic facilities, electricity, water and others that are calling for attention.
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“Our baseline was conducted in two local government areas of Gwale and Kumbotso LGAs. In these LGAs, we visited 50 facilities. And if we are to assess the facilities and score them, we would say 40 per cent of the PHCs were working or operational in those LGAs,” he said.
The Executive Director also dropped a hint that his organization is working to reinitiate and push for the passage of Maternal, Newborn and Child Healthcare bill in the state.
“In the next phase of this project, we are going to work vigorously to ensure that the Maternal, Newborn and Child Healthcare bill is passed. We are reinitiating the bill.
“We are already putting place some kind of strategy to enable us to have a number of interface with the members of state House of Assembly, Ministry of Health and ensure that the communities themselves who are to be major beneficiaries take it upon themselves to push for the passage of the bill,” Zikirullahi however stated.