Federal Government Endorses Citizenship Involvement to Improve Quality of Life
Worried by the unsatisfactory delivery of health services and provision of social amenities in various states, the Federal Government has endorsed the White Ribbon Alliance Nigeria campaign on citizen-led accountability for maternal, new born and child health in Nigeria.
The Chairperson of WRAN, Dr. Nanna Chidi-Emmanuel, who made this known during a press briefing, explained that the campaign would serve as a guide to enable people and communities to drive change, claim their rights and hold leaders accountable to commitments made regarding their health and well being.
She said the campaign was endorsed by the Acting President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, when the WRAN team paid him a working visit, where they asked him to take leadership and support citizen engagement led by citizens engaging policy makers to promote better living conditions for the people.
Chidi-Emmanuel added that the campaign would also drive policies that would make use of citizens input in the design and delivery of reproductive, maternal, newborn and child health services; improve utilisation of primary health care facilities and improve quality of care.
“We highlighted the fact that when citizens are given the platform to ask questions about the quality of care they receive through institutionalised accountability mechanisms, their confidence in government will increase and information will be gathered to improve services delivery at all levels,” she said.
The National Coordinator of WRAN, Mr. Tonte Ibraye, added that the campaign had chosen a slogan, ‘Nothing About Us Without Us’, meaning nothing about the health of citizens should be decided without the engagement of citizens at all levels.
He said the campaign which was already operational in other sectors was a new idea and solution to the old challenges facing maternal, new born and child health in Nigeria, adding that the indigenes could now help in ensuring that women did not die during child birth, neither would they allow children die before their fifth birthday.
Ibraye added that over the years there had been several investments in maternal, new born and child health, but lamented that the figures in deaths were still quite high.
“it is an old but new model used in Africa but new in health to find out the actual needs of the people and prioritise them to improve well being,” he said.
He added that WRAN was presently working with the Niger State government which had already implemented the citizen-led accountability for maternal, new born and child health in Nigeria.