Remarks by Malam Nasir El-Rufai, Governor of Kaduna State, at the signing of the MoU between the Kaduna State Government, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and DFID; Kaduna, 01 September 2016
Your Excellency the Deputy Governor, Secretary to the State Government, Honorable commissioners of Women Affairs, Health, Budget, Finance, Minister Wharton (UK Parliamentary under-secretary), Dr Ayo Ajayi (BMGF African Director), our esteemed partners present.
It is a delight to have such esteemed guests here at Sir Kashim Ibrahim House, Kaduna. You are most welcome. Health is one of the priority sectors for this government. Primary health care is critical to achieving our goal to deliver for Kaduna State citizens better health and longer life expectancy. Improving access to healthcare is critical to reducing infant and maternal mortality, and promoting immunization. Our primary health care centres represent the closest points of access.
We take seriously our obligation to create opportunity for all families to live healthy and productive lives. There are many ways in which we are trying to do this. And they are all inter-related; such as creating employment, improving educational opportunities for women and girls, building accountability in the health system and providing health care services that are acceptable, accessible and affordable to all individuals and families in the community.
This partnership is about strengthening primary health care services. We have to ensure reliable provision of health care services, delivered in the right quantities and qualities, at the right time and place. The health workers who will deliver these services have to be well-trained, managed, supervised and deployed in a rationale way. And it is crucial that we earn the trust of the community by delivering predictable, reliable health services if we want them to come to the health facilities. That’s essential. By getting these things right, we can ensure that families access critical treatments against malaria, diarrhea and other common ailments.
Kaduna State recognizes that PHC delivery should go beyond a focus on health facilities. We will work with our partners to address underlying bottlenecks that constrain the performance of the PHC system in the state.
Part of this commitment is to put more money to finance health care, and to also develop sustainable health financing mechanisms that go beyond reliance on tax-based financing, and mitigate the financial burden to households in accessing health care. Strong governance, performance management, and accountability are also critical to ensuring that PHC systems function well.
One of our first steps in office was to work with our legislators to pass a law to place Primary Health Care Under One Roof. This is intended to strengthen the institutional mechanism for delivering health services at the grassroots.
I am grateful to Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the UK Department for International Development (DFID) for their support. I look forward to using the PHC MOU, and its contents as a framework for building the partnerships and engaging other partners in a collaborative manner to pool resources and strategies to achieve the broad health sector goals. That way, we will be doing our duty to enable our people to lead healthy lives, and to be able to competitively contribute their quota to the growth of the state and the nation in general.
Thank you for listening.