BY YAKUBU ADAMS in Bauchi•
The Bauchi State has been called for timely release of funds appropriated for the health sector and an increase in its funding in the 2018.
Accountability Mechanism for Maternal and Neo-Natal Child Health (BaSAM MHCH) made the call when it paid a courtesy visit to the Bauchi State House Assembly committee on Health.
Secretary of BaSAM and team leader, Mr. Abu John Yusuf, said they were in the House to commend the legislature and the committee on health in particular for its posture in health care delivery in Bauchi state and to also spur them to do more, by increasing the budget line in the health sector and also to ensure timely release of funds appropriated.
While reiterating that BaSAM uses evidence obtained from studies and research as advocacy tools, Mr. Abu informed the committee that, “while it is commendable the pronouncement of 15 percent allocation to the health in the 2017 budget, evidence shows that only 1.7 percent was released between January and June which is grossly inadequate”.
Abu also highlighted some of the challenges faced in the health care facilities across the state that includes lack of drugs and medical consumables, inadequate functioning blood banks in the secondary health facilities, inadequate supply of basic lifesaving drugs such as Magnesium sulphate, Chlorhexidine, ORS/Zinc and Misoprostol.
The chairman house committee on health Hon. Ibrahim Bello Katagum commended BaSAM for its efforts in trying to mitigate MNCH and inform that the house is also poised to enact laws that would strengthen health care system in the state.
Hon. Katagum also said that, “House committee on health in the Bauchi State House of Assembly has the highest number of bills that is seeking to strengthen the system and improve health care services”.
While thanking BaSAM for the visit, the committee chairman further said that the Legislature in the state always welcome constructive criticism because “it tells us where we may be going wrong in the discharge of our duties”.