Borno has emerged as the best-performing state in the country on primary healthcare delivery, clinching the sum of $1.2 m.
Meanwhile, Abia, FCT and others emerged first runner-up and went home with the sum of $400,000 each.
The flagship programme, a leadership challenge is aimed at revamping the ‘Primary Health Care Under One Roof’ policy in Nigeria through the commitment of State Governors to Primary Healthcare Funding.
For the feat, Borno State got $700,000 for the emerging best-performing state overall and $500,000 for emerging as the winner in the Northeast in the best-performing zonal awards category.
The Zonal winners who got $500,000 each, include Kwara, Jigawa, Rivers, Ondo and Ebonyi States for North-Central, North-West, South-South, North-West and South-East respectively.
The first runner-ups in each zone got $400,000 each and they comprised the Federal Capital Territory for (North-Central), Bauchi for North-East, Zamfara for North-West, Abia for South-East, Edo for South-South and Ogun for South-West.
Speaking at the event, which was held at the Banquet Hall of the Presidential Villa, Abuja, a representative of the United Nations Children’s Fund, Christian Munduate, said 13 states got prices totalling $6.1 million, in recognition and honour of “the exceptional leadership of Governors who have made significant investments in Primary Health Care across the country.
According to her, the awards carry not only prestige but also huge significance given the positive impact made by the states in the lives of their people.
She said, “The award came into being in November 2019, when the Nigerian governors were hosted in Seattle by visionaries Bill Gates and Alhaji Aliko Dangote. This historical gathering led to the creation of the primary healthcare leadership challenge.
“This initiative is organized by the Nigerian Governors Forum, the National Primary Health Care Development Agency, and UNICEF, with the generous support of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and the Aliko Dangote Foundation.
“The challenge aimed at enhancing Governors’ commitment to human capital development and primary health care, mobilize state resources, promote accountability and also to innovate for gender-specific health outcomes.”
On the honours, Munduate added, “These awards highlight the value placed on progress made towards primary health care and will be used by the winning states to further strengthen their existing efforts and initiatives for primary health care.
“The governors being recognized today have not only excelled but have also become shining examples for others to follow. Their achievements will be celebrated not only through public recognition, but also through personnel commendation by distinguished individuals, such as the Vice President, the Ministry of Health, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and the Aliko Dangote Foundation.”
The UNICEF country representative said the vision behind the investment is not unconnected with the need to make primary healthcare accessible to women, girls and children in Nigeria.
“To improve the leadership oversight management and delivery of essential health services at the sub-national level where there are building blocks for enhancing an overall health outcome.
“The 36 executive governors of Nigeria, under whose leadership we stand have a unique opportunity to accelerate progress and to create lasting challenges. The primary health care Leadership Challenge awards go beyond monetary values. They motivate governors to increase investments aligned with the ‘Seattle Declaration and the Primary Healthcare Under One Roof Strategy’, while closing the gender gaps and removing barriers in their states.
Continuing, she said, “It is important to highlight that this leadership challenge fosters strong federal, and state partnerships to drive evidence-based healthcare delivery and improve health outcomes by pooling resources, sharing best practices and overcoming challenges together.
“I’m sure we can all achieve better health care for all Nigerians. So, as we celebrate the accomplishments of these exceptional leaders, let us remember that their success is not achieved in isolation. It is a testament of the hard work and dedication of countless individuals from healthcare professionals, to community health workers, to community leaders who have worked tirelessly towards the advancement of health.”
Speaking on behalf of Borno State, Governor Babagana Zulum, thanked the challenge partners, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Dangote Foundation, the National Primary Health Care Development Agency and UNICEF, for the awards and promised to build on the successes already recorded.
“I want to assure you this award is not only for the winners. It is for all of us so that collectively, we can promote affordable healthcare delivery systems in Nigeria. I want to assure you that we shall do everything possible to promote the health objectives of establishing healthcare primary healthcare in Nigeria, which is to bring healthcare closer to the communities.
“We shall do everything possible to ensure that the primary health care system is enhanced through effective community participation, effective inter-sectoral coordination, effective appropriate technology and indeed, through support mechanisms to all services.”
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