Governor Muhammadu Yahaya has restated his resolve to open up the rural areas of Gombe State for development, to reach the grassroots.
Governor Yahaya said his administration was particularly going to focus on rural development, primary healthcare development and agriculture, which are the primary source of empowerment for the people.
He was speaking at the flag off of the scale up of the Nigeria State-Health Investment Project for Billiri and Akko Local Government Areas of the state.
The pilot phase of the healthcare programme, the Nigerian-State-Health-Investment Project, was first launched for Gombe Local Government Area in 2017, before scaling it up in Balanga, Dukku and Yamaltu Deba in 2018 and now extended to Akko and Billiri Local Government Areas.
The goal of the programme is to increase the delivery and use of high impact maternal and child health interventions and improve quality of care at selected facilities in the participating states.
Fifty-seven point nine million Naira has been earmark for Billiri Local Government Area and 61 million Naira for Akko Local Government Area, all intended to cover 36 healthcare facilities in the two local government areas.
Consequently, Governor Yahaya said the intervention would afford the two local government areas with at least one fully functional healthcare centre in every ward, that would be operation 24 hours every day and providing care for everyone at a minimal cost.
He therefore urged the management of the facilities to ensure that they performed satisfactorily, to attract additional funding and support.
“This three million and fifty thousand Naira per Primary Healthcare Agency, is like seed money, that if you utilise it properly and provide service to your people, that amount will be doubled up and at the end of every quarter, your performance will be evaluated and those that qualify will get more. As the Caretaker Secretary of every primary healthcare development agency elaborated, that in Gombe Local Government, one healthcare agency alone is qualified to get nineteen million naira, just a week ago. So, you can equally work to get 19 million Naira or more,” Governor Yahaya said.
Hajia Binta Ismail, who represented the Executive Director, National Primary Healthcare Development Agency, Dr. Shu’ai Faiza said the NSHIP covered maternal and child health interventions, as well as focused on activities that would help achieve or help Universal Health Coverage.
“The project started in 2011 in three pilot states of Ondo, Nasara and Adamawa and covered the 52 LGAs of these states. Currently, the Additional Financing, ANFSHIP, is borne out of the Federal Government’s move to the World Bank to assist post insurgencies in the North East states, and because of the exemplary activities of NFSHIP in Adamawa State, which is one of the North East states, the World Bank decided to use this approach to support the remaining ANSHIP states,” Hajia Isma’il said.
She said in the current design of this ANFSHIP, Gombe, Bauchi and Taraba States were to implement 23% of the local government, which is 1/3.
The funds to be given to the 18 healthcare facilities in Billiri and 15 in Akko Local Government Areas of Gombe State is an initial payment for them to improve on the general infrastructure, provide essential drugs and consumables and recruit additional healthcare workers, to improve health delivery in the facilities.
The 18 healthcare facilities in Billiri are each going to receive three million and 50 Naira, including the General Hospital in Billiri, the local government will receive 57.95 million Naira.
They will be receiving regular funding of quarterly subsidies based on their performance.
According to Governor Yahaya, the move is in fulfillment of some of his campaign promises, when he went round every part of the state, promising to deliver at least one functional health care development agency in all 114 wards in the state.
He therefore pledged his commitment to creating the mandatory contributory health development scheme that would pull financial resources and provide financial protection to the people against major health expenditure.
Governor Yahaya called on the Performance Based Financing Committees of every facility to ensure transparency and accountability in the management of Healthcare Services in their communities.