The Kano State Government has disclosed that the decline in uptake and delivery of essential primary health care services across the state could not be unconnected to the outbreak of coronavirus which affected virtually all sectors of human existence.
It explained that fear of contracting the deadly respiratory had forced residents across the state from accessing primary health care services as most people believed the virus could easily be transmitted at health facilities.
The state Commissioner for Health, Dr. Aminu Tsanyawa, said that the virus had its toll on the state’s healthcare delivery system and at such, the government had concluded plans to embark on aggressive development of the state’s primary healthcare system.
Speaking during a Zoom meeting on Kano State Health Systems Strengthening Program MOU Review, coordinated from Abuja recently, according to a statement the state’s Director-General, Media and Public Relations, Ameen Yassar, the commissioner said that during early phase of the pandemic, the Governor Abdullahi Ganduje-led administration made concerted efforts to halt the trend through public sensitization on COVID-19 preventive measures.
Other measures, he said, were service delivery optimization through catch-up health campaigns, and minimization of health worker and patient vulnerability by ensuring all healthcare services are provided in adherence to COVID-19 infection prevention and control protocols.
“The COVID-19 incidence in the state from April 2020 resulted in a decreased uptake of PHC services due to fear of contracting COVID-19 and movement restrictions”, the statement quoted him telling participant during the meeting.
Tsanyawa who acknowledged the absence of earmarked state health budget funds to cater for emergency situations clarified that the state government had reviewed fund allocation for preliminary emergency response within its revised budget and ensure financing for a resilient primary health care system in the state.
“In the last four years, the health sector has been only second to education sector in state budget prioritization. Kano state has since 2019 demonstrated its commitment to meeting the Abuja declaration on state health budget with over 15 percent of the state budget allocated to health”, he added.
In his remarks, the Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire, commended efforts of the Ganduje administration for “the laudable achievements towards the improvement of Routine Immunization and Primary Health Care service delivery”.
While noting that the state incident action plan was outstanding, he stated that the government needed to increase its budgetary allocation for health and expedite release of funds for the health system strengthening programme, among other things.
In their separate contributions, the Executive Director, National Primary Health Care Development Agency, Dr. Faisal Shu’aib, the Emir of Kano, Aminu Ado Bayero, and the Coordinator, Foreign and Commonwealth Development Office, Hajiya Nafisa Ado, promised continued support towards repositioning the health care system in the state.