By; JACOB ONJEWU DICKSON
Kano State Government has said that COVID-19 is largely responsible for the decline in uptake and delivery of essential primary healthcare services in the state.
This was expressed in a statement signed by the Director-General, Media and Public Relations, Government House, Kano, Ameen K. Yassar.
The state Commissioner for Health, Dr. Aminu Ibrahim Tsanyawa announced this during a Zoom meeting on Kano State Health Systems Strengthening Programme MOU Review, coordinated from Abuja.
“The Covid 19 incidence in the state from April 2020 resulted in a decreased uptake of PHC services due to fear of contracting Covid 19 and movement restrictions”, he affirmed.
Dr. Tsanyawa observed, however, that the Ganduje administration made concerted efforts to halt the trend including public sensitization on COVID-19 preventive measures, service delivery optimization through catch-up health campaigns and minimization of health worker and patient vulnerability by ensuring all healthcare services are provided in adherence to Covid 19 Infection Prevention and Control protocols.
Although he acknowledged absence of earmarked state health budget funds to cater for emergency situations, the commissioner was quick to point out that the state government had reviewed fund allocation for preliminary emergency response within its revised budget.
Regarding financing for a resilient Primary Healthcare system in the state, Dr. Tsanyawa said: “In the last four years the health sector has been only second to education sector in state budget prioritization.
“Kano State has since 2019 demonstrated its commitment to meeting the Abuja declaration on state health budget with over 15 percent of the state budget allocated to health”, he added.
While assuring that the state government would sustain its momentum in immunization and surveillance activities to maintain its Polio-free status, he requested the continued support of Aliko Dangote Foundation and Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to achieve the set goals.
In his remarks, the Minster of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire appreciated the effort of the Ganduje administration for “the laudable achievements towards improvement of Routine Immunization and Primary Health Care service delivery”.
Although he noted that the state Incident Action Plan was outstanding, he stated that the government needed to increase its budgetary allocation for health and expedite release of funds for the health system strengthening programme, among other things.
In their separate contributions, the Executive Director, National Primary Healthcare Development Agency, Dr. Faisal Shu’aib, the Emir of Kano, Alh. Aminu Ado Bayero and the Coordinator, Foreign and Commonwealth Development Office, Hajiya Nafisa Ado promised continued support towards repositioning the health care system in Kano State.