Bauchi guns for affordable, accessible healthcare services for the people

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By; MOHAMMED KAWU, Bauchi
Governor Mohammed Abubakar of Bauchi has appealed to corporate organizations and wealthy individuals to partner with the state in its quest to provide affordable and accessible healthcare delivery services to the poor and indigent people.
He made the appeal in Bauchi while inaugurating a Standing Committee on Corporate Social Responsibility for Health Sector saying, “As demands from various sectors continue to increase in the face of dwindling financial resources, government has no option but to think out of the box, and find ways of harnessing resources to enable it carry out its laudable healthcare policies and programmes”.
Abubakar, determined to implement to the All Progressives Congress (APC) policies and programmes in the face of dwindling resources, said the administration was aware of the numerous challenges facing the health sector of the state.
According to him, the challenges are so enormous that supporting the health agenda has become imperative and requires newer visions with more resources and most importantly focus and direction for the state to achieve its goal on its Five Point Agenda on Health.
He also observed that in most developing countries, the budget allocation for social, especially health sector has been insufficient, as it fails to meet the 15% Gross National Product (GNP) requirement dedicated to the health sector as agreed in the Abuja declaration of African leaders in 2001.
“In Bauchi State, however, I have ensured that up to 16% in 2016 budget is dedicated to finance the health sector. I have always reiterated the commitment of this administration in reviving the health sector through leveraging for support from Non-Governmental Organizations like the World Bank and through exploring the value of innovative sources of finance”.
This, he said, become necessary so as not to overburden the state government considering the limited resources at its disposal, as innovative ways of support is a welcome idea to provide alternative mechanisms in bridging the gap created as a result of shortage of finance.
Abubakar lamented the poor state of finances of governments at both national and states level, stressing  that corporate social responsibility is the duty of every corporate body to protect the interest of the society at large, and urged all organizations and individuals to take interest in the general welfare of the less privileged.
He explained that paucity of resources to execute the electoral promises necessitated the establishment of the state standing committee on Corporate Social Responsibility to sensitize the public and corporate organizations, wealthy individuals and philanthropists and seek their support in financing the health sector to ensure a healthy society.
The 18 member Committee responsible for sensitizing and mobilizing the private sector on corporate social responsibility within and outside Bauchi State is being chaired by the Commissioner of Health, Dr. Halima Musa Mukaddas.
It is to conduct advocacy visits, seminars and tours to galvanize action by private sector and philanthropists; and mapping and maintaining database of all private sector organizations in Bauchi State that could support sustainable health financing and development in the state.
Other terms of reference of the committee include developing appropriate strategies for effective engagement of private sector on corporate social responsibility, overseeing all public-private-partnership engagements in the health sector, and developing annual operation plan and ensure its implementation and performance review.

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