Members of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum on Wednesday pledged to gradually allocate more of their state resources to primary health care through “efficient budgeting aligned with annual operational plans”.

They also pledged the immediate release of the approved budget to their state’s primary and primary health care councils.

The forum’s chairman, Ekiti State Governor Kayode Fayemi, made the pledge during the forum’s meeting in the state house, Abuja.

Fayemi said the governors would recruit the required quantity and quality of staff in all primary health care facilities in accordance with the minimum staffing requirements appropriate to their level according to each state’s minimum service package.

He said: “Following the introduction to the Seattle Declaration by 36 Governors of Nigeria in November 2019, the Nigerian Governors Forum representing the 36 States of the Federation hereby reaffirms our commitment to strengthening the primary health care system in the country.

“Therefore, we take and affirm our commitment in accordance with the Seattle Declaration, as set forth below; improving the governance of the primary health care system at the sub-national level by fully implementing primary health care policies under one roof, and providing active primary health care leadership through regular liaison with relevant primary health care stakeholders, and quarterly primary health care performance evaluation during the meetings of the State Administrative Council.”

“Promote a gradual increase in primary health care funding by ensuring efficient budgeting aligned with annual operational plans, immediately releasing the approved budget to the State Board of Primary Health Care and primary health care facilities, and ensuring that a mechanism is for basic health care, fund implementation, and state and institution-level oversight.

“Recruit the necessary health professionals to ensure that all primary health care facilities have the minimum staffing requirements appropriate for their level in line with the state’s minimum service package.”

The former presidential aspirant said the governors would work to establish a culture of using evidence for decision-making by gradually improving data quality in all primary health care facilities.

He noted that they will develop a state-led and primary health-level local government-led challenge for LGA presidents, for sustainability and to increase the commitment of local government presidents to primary health care. to reinforce.

For his part, the Country Director, Bill and Belinda Gates Foundation, Jeremie Zoungrana, said the PHC Challenge Fund offers a unique opportunity to motivate and publicly recognize ownership and leadership in subnationals.

He pledged to track PHC health indicators to support the NGF, build governor-level accountability, improve performance management and increase investment in critical areas of PHC.

Zouungrana said: “The Challenge Fund will also leverage other BMGF investments aimed at improving state-level ownership, analysis, quality and use of data. Under the Challenge, all 36 states are eligible for monetary grants that are awarded to one best performing and one most improved state within each of the country’s six geopolitical zones that show the most progress against all indicators according to the agreed performance results framework, as well as one state at the national level with the most improved performance (in total 13 awards).

“The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is fully aligned with the determination of the Government of Nigeria to reform and revitalize PHC through the ongoing efforts of the Ministry of Health and the National Primary Health Care Development Agenda.”

He said the Foundation is encouraged by recent reports showing improvement in routine immunization, skilled obstetricians, nutrition, indicators of malaria coverage and decreasing cases of CVDPV2. This is encouraging and you should all be proud of this achievement.

Other governors present are Babagana Zulum of Borno, Bala Mohammed of Bauchi, Godwin Obaseki of Edo, Inuwa Yahaya of Gombe, Abubakar Badaru of Jigawa, Simon Lalong of Plateau, Dapo Abiodun of Ogun, Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos, Rotimi Akeredolu of Ondo , AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq of Kwara, Hope Uzodinma of Imo, Aminu Tambuwal of Sokoto, Dave Umahi of Ebonyi and Gboyega Oyetola of Osun.

Also in attendance were Kogi’s deputy governors, Edward Onoja, Adebayo Lawal of Oyo, Moses Ekpo of Akwa Ibom, Cecilia Ezeilo of Enugu and Lawrence Ewhrudjakpo of Bayelsa.

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