Engage Citizens in Health Sector: WRAN Coordinator urges NGSG
This article originally appeared in Newsline.
By Mary Jalingo
The National Coordinator, White Ribbon Alliance Nigeria (WRAN) Mr Tonte Ibraye urges Niger State Government to as a matter of urgency set up mechanisms to engage more with its citizens aimed at transforming the health sector.
He said the poor state of reproductive, maternal, newborn and children healthcare service delivery in Nigeria was no longer a secret adding that if the situation was not addressed through citizen engagement, the state and the country at large may not be able to meet the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Mr. Tonte Ibraye, said the era of seeing citizens as mere targets was over noting that citizens must be seen as change agents needed to transform the health system in the state.
He said to reduce the many barriers hindering access to quality and affordable healthcare services in the state, government should set up accountability structure that make use of citizens input to define policy and implementation plans which he added will not only identify problems and barriers but proffer solutions that are unique to the context, provide supportive supervision at the PHCs, encourage community ownership, and reduce childbirth at home by unskilled birth attendant.
He stated that WRAN campaign was in the state to seek to advocate and amplify the voices of citizens and of the need for government to publicly commit to implementing accountability process that are led by citizens who bears the burden of poor service delivery especially at PHC level.
Also speaking, Hajiya Amina Mamko, Director PHC in Lapai Local Government Area of the state said some of the barriers facing the health sector in the state especially in the rural areas include lack of human resource as no replacement for those that have retired and poor facilties.
Hajiya Amina Mamko said lack of quality and affordable healthcare delivery at the rural areas have forced patients to seek alternative sources of services which in most cases have led to in repairable damage and death.
She urged the government to involve citizens in policy formation and implementation as it affects them noting that it was only those who wear the shoes that knows where it hurts the most.
She commended WRAN for its campaign in the state and called on the state government to collaborate with the WRAN to improve the health indices of the state.