Taraba health workers to begin policy establishing process

Rebecca Mu’azu

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Health workers in Taraba State have agreed to set up a committee to organise and coordinate activities that will eventually lead to the domestication and implementation of the Task Shifting and Task Sharing Policy in the State.

The workers were participants at a two-day workshop in Jalingo, the Taraba State Capital, organised by the Women and Children Health Empowerment Foundation, the Partnership for Advocacy in Child and Family Health in Nigeria and supported by the Bill and Melinda Gates foundation.

The participants reached the conclusion after the Acting Executive Director of the non-governmental organisation, Mr. Lawal Usman Abubakar, suggested Task Shifting and Task Sharing among health workers, as a solution to the shortage of health workers in the state.

Mr. Abubakar also said the panacea for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals in Taraba State and countries in sub-Saharan African, was in that policy.

In his paper presentation on Task shifting and task sharing, he said the world had been hit by the shortage of Human Resources for Health, which had threatened the attainment of the health related SDGs.

Mr. Abubakar said Sub-Saharan African countries would require more than one million health workers to be able to achieve their health related SDGs.

Mr. Abubakar noticed that Taraba State was also hard hit by the severe manpower shortage, pointing out that “the trend, globally, is to have the best out of the existing number of Human Resources for Health working in the Health sector through Task Shifting and Task Sharing.”

He said WACHEF had carried out a baseline survey in Taraba State in connection with Task Shifting and Task Sharing policy.

“During which it was observed that over 40% of the policy makers and implementers in the State “are ignorant of the Task Shifting and Task Sharing Policy, despite the fact that the policy was adopted and approved for implementation in Nigeria over three years ago,” Mr. Abubakar said.

Also speaking at the dialogue meeting, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Health, Dr. Musa Obadiah, invited WACHEF to assist the State to adopt, adapt and domesticate the National Task Shifting and Task Sharing Policy in Taraba.

Nnenna.O