The past six years of the administration of Governor Muhammad Abubakar Badaru in Jigawa state has brought about health sector reform agenda which aims to increase access to qualitative and affordable healthcare.
While prioritizing Primary Healthcare, the government has also done a lot to improve secondary and tertiary care across the state.
The records indicate that so far, up to about N8.4 billion has been expended in the Health Sector during the 2021 Fiscal Year.
The achieved budgetary outputs have reached closer to the attainment of the target of one functional Primary Health Clinic in each of the 287 Wards in the state and at least one functional Secondary Health Facility in each of our 27 Local Governments.
At the moment, there are 279 functional Primary Health Care centers each with the requisite infrastructure, human resources and facilities capable of providing basic obstetric care services.
Of recent, fifty-one maternity wings, popularly known as L-1, were added to the PHCs to meet the minimum standards of the Basic Healthcare Provision Fund.
At the secondary level, Garki, Gantsa and Guri General Hospitals have been completed while Kiyawa, Maigatari, Karkarna, Kanya and Taura PHCs were upgraded to General Hospitals.
Construction of three additional General Hospitals at Gagarawa, Gwiwa, Kiri-kasamma are also ongoing in earnest.
In addition, the construction works of the two new ongoing Specialist Hospitals at Hadejia and Kazaure have all attained about 90% progress to completion.
In terms of human resources for health, government has continued to take proactive measures that would provide long-term solutions.
The sixty (60) students that studied Medicine in China have returned and are presently undergoing internship in Nigeria.
This year, 160 Medical Students were sent to Sudan comprising of 100 females and 60 males.
Locally, 420 medical and allied students have been put under bonding to serve the State on completion.
The second health training institution, established by the administration, namely School of Midwifery Babura, has reached an advanced stage of completion and it is hoped that the school would be ready to begin student enrolment next year;
In the area of Healthcare Financing, the newly established Jigawa Contributory Healthcare Management Agency (JICHMA) is now fully functional with almost 224, 000 contributors in the formal sector enrolled and over 46, 000 poor and vulnerable households also enrolled at the community level to enable them access healthcare service under the Basic Healthcare Provision Fund.
By all means, this is a big push towards making qualitative healthcare service accessible and affordable to the citizens.
In terms of the preparedness and response strategy, government is doing exceptionally very well.
As per the National Statistics on COVID-19 Global Pandemic, Jigawa State has the least cases and mortalities and is among those with the highest number of COVID-19 vaccinated, currently at about 160,000 and still counting.
Recently the state witnessed the unfortunate incidence of cholera outbreak in some Local Governments and within a relatively short-period, the government was able to vaccinate almost one million people with the Oral Cholera Vaccines which helped to effectively alleviate the situation.
In an effort to continuously improve the nutrition indices in the State, this year, government procured the magic food called RuTF (Ready-to-use Therapeutic Food) worth over N100 million with which over 15,000 severely malnourished children were treated.
In addition, the newly introduced Local Masaki Nutrition Program is also yielding huge positive results in the treatment of moderately malnourished children. Over 6,000 such cases were reportedly treated across the 150 Masaki Sites established across all the thirty constituencies in the State.
To complement Free Maternal and Child Healthcare Intervention, Jigawa state is spending N75 million every month, while introducing Emergency Transport Services in partnership with the transport unions to transport women from the rural communities to the health facilities for safe delivery.
About 1,000 women were transported under the scheme in the ten 10 months thus preventing possible birth-related mortalities.
Habibu Nuhu Kila is the Special Adviser, Media and Public Relations to the Governor of Jigawa State