Integrated Health Programme (IHP), United States Agency for International Development (USAID)- funded project, has assured that it will continue to partner Bauchi State government in the area of proper health financing for development.
IHP Health Financing Advisor, Khalid Kasimu, said this during the opening of Budget Tracking Workshop for members of Bauchi State Accountability Mechanism for MNCH (BaSAM) and Journalists for Public Health and Development Initiative (J4PD), at the Chartwell Hotel, Misau.
Kasimu said that effective budgeting in health is critical to the growth and development of the sector, stressing that the sector needs prompt attention.
The IHP Health Financing Advisor added that if health budgeting and financing is got right, every other aspect of the health sector will fall in place which will in turn lead to growth and development of the sector.
He urged members of BaSAM and J4PD to concentrate on the workshop in order to have something to hold onto as they engage stakeholders on the need for effective health financing for service delivery in the sector.
On his part, the co-chairman of BaSAM, John Abu Yusuf, said that, “The budget is the second most important document of any state, the first most important is the Constitution as a government document, so we cannot overemphasise its importance.”
He said that, “Irrespective of how beautiful the Constitution of a country is, if the budget is faulty, there is no way the lofty provisions of the Constitution can be achieved, that is the reason we are particular about the budget, especially we at BaSAM”.
“That is the only way we can ensure that the people feel the existence of the government. We are not just here for ourselves, just for the sake of our jobs, but we are here for the sake of those who do not have the opportunity to be here and have this knowledge to help them track the budget”.
“We are to ensure effective implementation and ensure that the everyday life of the unseen Nigerian are served.”
Also speaking, the coordinator of J4PD, Elizabeth Nange Kah, said that, “We need this budget tracking workshop because we need evidence to be able to report issues concerning health and development accurately, issues that will generate debate among our various stakeholders,”
“So, how else can we do this rather than to partner with agencies because we are also trying to coordinate the engagement of the development partners on issues, on external workings and so, we need to work together as a team, every partner working on issues that affect women, children health and the environment,” she added.
“This is necessary because if we don’t have a healthy environment, we cannot have good health, so these are areas we are working in. We are meeting BaSAM for the first time and we hope that this will be the beginning of the partnership.”
“Budgeting is one of areas and as you all know, last week, we tried to engage government partners, Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) and the media on pre-budgeting validation in the state”.\
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