Gov. Sani Bello Intensifies Efforts To Woo Partners Into Niger’s Health Sector
In an attempt to have a working health service delivery system in Niger State, the Governor of Niger State, Alhaji Abubakar Sani Bello has commenced traversing the nooks and crannies of Nigeria, Africa and other continents to woo partners into the Health Sector of Niger State.
Towards achieving that, Governor Bello delegated a team of health heavy weights led by Dr. Mustapha Jibril, the Commissioner of Health and Health Services who combed Abuja in company of the Permanent Secretary, Niger State Ministry for Health by visiting; World Bank, World Health Organization, WHO, National Health Insurance Scheme, NHIS and The United Nations Children’s Fund, UNICEF.
Dr. Oluwole Odutolu, a Senior Health Specialist who received the Niger State Delegate at the World Bank office, appraised the team’s efforts to reach out to the World Bank in an era of ‘Change’, describing the visit as an ‘open line of opportunity and communication’. He also unveiled the ongoing Niger and Ekiti State World Bank ‘resource tracking’ project, while adding that, the output from the project will be replicated in other states in Nigeria. The World Bank over the years, that has been supportive to the growth and development of various sectors in Nigeria is indeed commendable. Dr. Oluwole was quoted saying “there have been several interventions programmes by the World Bank in Nigeria over the years, especially the World Bank HIV/AIDs programmes”. He added that, a pool of smaller grants known as ‘trust funds’ can be accessed by States in supporting their needs, especially those with a functional health system.
Presenting the World Bank 2014 Report of the ‘Nigeria State Health Investment Project (NSHIP)’ of key achievements of RBF project carried out in three Nigeria states (Adamawa, Nassarawa and Ondo ) to the Commissioner, the Health Specialist urged the team to keep an “eye of faith” towards all intending health projects, with hopes and expectation that the World Bank through the Federal Ministry of Health will look into peculiar areas and give it necessary support in line with the Federal Government’s plans of funding the save a million lives project across States in Nigeria.
Dr Mustapha Jibril was also at the Integrated Disease and Surveillance Response (IDSR) unit of the World Health Organization, he used the medium to inform the IDSR unit concerning Niger’s Lassa virus outbreak at Fukka community in Munya Local Government Area of the State and how the situation was contained. The North Central Zone, IDSR-National Officer, Dr. Ifeanyi Akudo applauded Governor Bello’s prompt response concerning the issue. He also informed the delegation about the Federal Government’s plans to strengthen the Primary Health System in Nigeria while reiterating President Buhari’s concern towards improving health standard of all Nigerians.
Dr. Aboubacar Kampong of UNICEF, assured the team of the Organisation’s support to achieve certain bench mark quality to drive the health sectors. Speaking at the meeting, Dr Jibril revealed that Niger State alone has about 1373 Primary Health Centres, and its intention is to have a functioning Primary Health Centre in each of the wards 274 wards in the State as the meeting he said is to discuss the Niger State’s Health plan, and to seek guidance and technical support on actualizing a formidable health programmes that will meet the health needs of it’s citizens. Dr. Olufemi Akingbade, the Executive Secretary, of the National Health Insurance Scheme, also assured the Commissioner of their willingness and readiness to partner with the Niger State government.