KEBBI Government says it is collaborating with the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) through Breakthrough Action Nigeria (BA-N) initiative to improve health services in the state.
Hajiya Halima Dikko, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Health, disclosed this at the official launching of Albishirin Ku (Good tidings), a health programme, on Monday in Birnin Kebbi.
“Kebbi state ministry of health is genuinely pleased to collaborate with USAID funded Breakthrough Action Nigeria on this social behaviour change called Albishirin Ku.
“I find it extremely important to appreciate the support we are receiving from our collaborative partnership with USAID through the Integrated Health Program Breakthrough Action Nigeria.
“Also from Global Health Supply Chain -Procurement and Supply Management projects and from UNICEF, WHO and other implementing partners in the state,” she said.
ALSO READ: Tiwa Savage walks runway for Naomi Campbell
Dikko said that one of the pertinent issues which affect the uptake of health services in the country is poor health-seeking behaviour, largely driven by low awareness, complex socio-cultural norms and customary beliefs among others.
She said that the government had taken bold steps in repositioning primary health care system by providing essential resources, commitment and political will to make primary healthcare facilities functional and more effective.
The state Coordinator of Breakthrough Action, Mr Sami Olaniru, said the USAID funded project aims to raise priority health behaviours among the people, focus on malaria, maternal, newborn and child health as well as nutrition.
“We have a lot of intervention and community mobilisation activities where people go from house to house and talk to people, compound meetings and community dialogue where women and men gather to discuss.
“As part of our community interaction, Breakthrough Action use religious leaders to enlighten the people about health.’’
The coordinator appreciated the state government for its support to the Albishirin Ku campaign and in providing the enabling environment for the project to be implemented.
“The state government provides all other support including counterparts funds to ensure that the programme is fully implemented,” Olaniru said.
Dr Zainab Bagudu, the wife of the state governor, said the Albishirin Ku initiative would help in boosting awareness on maternal and child health among other issues affecting the health sector.
“Albishirin Ku campaign provides a new opportunity to advance the cause of maternal newborn and child health at all levels of society.
“I recognise and appreciate the enormous support and investment of USAID and development partners in Nigeria and Kebbi state specifically, in promoting innovative social behaviour change programmes in Kebbi state.
“Breakthrough Action has come at a time when Kebbi state’s maternal and child health narrative is drastically changing.’’
She said that Gov. Abubakar Bagudu has prioritised the health sector and improved maternal and child health with several programs that key into national plans.
“We are actually reversing the negative health indices in the state,” Mrs Bagudu said.