There is a need for citizens to continuously scrutinize the expenditure cycle of health budget to establish if maternal health funds are trickling down to the Primary Healthcare Centers (PHCs) at the local level.
Comrade Dr. Ibrahim M. Zikirullahi, the Executive Director, Resource Centre for Human Rights & Civic Education (CHRICED) gave the advice at the Two-Day Training of Monitors on Maternal Health Expenditure Tracking in Gwale and Kumbotso LGAs of Kano State held at the Aminu Kano Centre for Democratic Studies (AKCDS, Mambayya House) Kano.
This training is one of the critical processes in the final preparation for the monitoring of the implementation of healthcare budgets in various Primary Healthcare Centres.
CHRICED’s target is that, at the end of this activity, participants would have been sufficiently equipped with the technical capacity required to engage in the role of data-driven monitoring of how maternal health funds are utilised across respective PHCs.
According to Comrade Zikirullahi, the importance of the role, apart from its foundational basis in the constitution, comes from the fact that there are now a number of sources from which monies are pouring into the health sector in Kano State.
He said: “Apart from the budget, other sources of health funds pouring into the health sector include; the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS), the Contributory Health Scheme, the Kano Health Trust Fund and even the Basic Health Provision Fund, among others.”
“With such a quantum of financial resources coming into the health sector, we need to know how well it is translating into quality maternal health services for the good people of Kano State,” he added.
Comrade Zikirullahi advised: “We must not forget that these efforts are meant to help our families, communities, state and country get rid of the scourge of maternal mortality. Even if we are not conversant with the statistics, many of us have had one experience or the other where someone close to us, a mother, wife, sister, aunty or niece has died in the throes of child birth.”
“As monitors therefore, we must take this responsibility with a sense of commitment and dedication,” he added.
He said: “We owe this duty to ourselves, families, communities, state, and our country Nigeria. To our community activists and leaders, your commitment, diligence and cooperation will be counted on as we track the flow of maternal health funds.”
Comrade Zikirullahi thanked his partners, Misereor-KZE of Germany, whose unflinching support has enabled CHRICED to contribute to the realisation of laudable goals for the health sector in Kano.
The CHRICED project of Social Mobilization for Transparency and Accountability in the Implementation of Maternal Health Resource Budgets in Kano State is a citizen-driven project.
The goal is ensuring the big budget figures allocated for healthcare in Kano state translates to quality maternal healthcare for people on the ground, especially in hard-to-reach rural areas.
The logic of the project is the desire to raise the collective consciousness of all citizens about their rights and responsibilities with respect to ensuring quality maternal care.
Health is a critical social service, which is at the heart of the welfare and wellbeing of citizens, CHRICED has been tirelessly working to ensure citizens put the issue of maternal healthcare on the front burner of public discourse.