Kano state House of Assembly (KSHoA) has committed to the passage of the Maternal Child Healthcare (MCHC) Bill into law.
The Speaker, KSHoA Rt. Hon. Hamisu Ibrahim Chidari who was represented by the Deputy Chairman, House Committee on Health, Hon. Magaji Zarewa made the commitment on Thursday at the Stakeholders Consultative Meeting on Strengthening Maternal Healthcare through Accountability Interventions in Kano state.
The meeting was organized by Resources Centre for Human Rights &Civic Education (CHRICED) in line with 2022 Kano State Health Week collaborated with like-minded Civil Society allies to advocate for legislation that will comprehensively address the entire gamut of fundamental issues at the heart of maternal and child healthcare service delivery in Kano state.
Speaking through the Deputy Chairman, House Committee on Health, Hon. Zarewa at the event, the Speaker said the MCHC bill has not reached the House for deliberation yet.
“However, I promised to be fully committed to ensuring the bill sees the light of the day.”
“Kano State House of Assembly has been working to ensure that laws that would enhance the wellbeing of the public were being enacted.”
Rt. Hon. Chidari said the House would partner with relevant stakeholders on matters relating to Free Maternal Child Health law.
He lauded the tireless efforts and commitment of CHRICED in advocating for MCHC Law in the state.
Earlier, in his remarks, the Executive Director, CHRICED, Dr. Ibrahim Zikirullahi said the engagement was necessary as it was set to achieve the purpose of reducing maternal and child mortality.
He said: “Maternal health issues resulting in the death of women, children, and new-borns cannot be addressed using the isolated and disparate approach.
“Those challenges required concerted and strategic approaches, which would match the scale of the problem with the quantum of funds required to solve them.
“The presence of citizens, traditional rulers, and top government officials at this stakeholder’s event demonstrates a collective resolve and commitment to finding long-term sustainable solutions to Kano State Maternal and child health issues.
“Ensuring that Kano state citizens, particularly women and children, do not die; needlessly should be a collective and shared responsibility.
“CHRICED believes that such an important task of maternal and child health should not be left solely to the government but citizens at the grassroots must be willing to engage the government and share their experiences as recipients of the government’s numerous interventions in the sector.
“The government on the other hand must reciprocate citizens’ interest by demonstrating transparency, accountability, and good faith.
“This is part of what this stakeholder Consultative Meeting seeks to achieve”.
In his goodwill message, His Royal Highness, Sarkin Kano, Alh. Aminu Ado Bayero who was ably represented by Mai Girma Dankadan Kano, Dr. Basheer Mohammed said the theme of the engagement is timely, adding that transparency and accountability must be the watchword of all healthcare delivery systems in the state.”
While advocating for the KSHoA to pass the MCHC Bill into law, he commended CHRICED’s efforts and promised to sensitize village heads and religious leaders on the need to allow their wives to go to the hospital for proper antennal and childbirth.
Consultant Pediatrician, Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital (AKTH) Dr. Hadiza Ashiru Usman made a presentation on “Key issues Affecting Maternal and Child Health Care Delivery in Kano.”
She said inadequate human resources and a lack of framework for health personnel in the state are major challenges; this has led brain drain.
She called on parents to allow their children to go into the medical profession to help reduce the rate of women and child mortality.
Hafsat Yahaya Yakasai PhD, Department of Public Administration Bayero University, Kano, while presenting “Transiting from Policy to law: The Necessity for free Maternal and Child Health Law in Kano State” said, the bill conforms to the global desire for Universal Health Coverage as well as represents the needs and aspirations of the citizens.
According to her, the inability to enact an operational law to safeguard the success of the policy is responsible for low political commitment to support it, resulting in inadequate funding, health personnel, infrastructure and facilities, poor remuneration for staff, and above all, the absence of an effective monitoring and evaluation mechanism to ensure transparency and accountability in the implementation of the policy.
“Maternal Health Law is needed in the state because the law will restore the fundamental rights of women and their children as every woman has the right to free quality health care during pregnancy, childbirth, and postpartum.
“The legislation can support access, entitlement and support to MCHC service, financing of the costs for service through other sources like donor funding.
“It can also ensure equal access, affordability and quality of care across different strata of women as well as go a long way in reducing the mortality rate.”
Yakasai, therefore, called on the KSHoA to speedily deliberate and pass the bill into law.