Bauchi State Governor, Senator Bala Abdulkadir Mohammed, on Monday, assured of the commitment of his administration to tackling shortage of manpower in the state health sector with a view to enhancing health care delivery in the state.
Governor Mohammed gave the assurance while flagging off the 2023 distribution of 4.4 million free insecticide-treated Nets (ITNS) and seasonal malaria chemoprevention across the 323 wards in the state worth N7 billion.
The governor informed that since the inception of his administration in 2019, it has prioritised the health sector, having declared a state of emergency in the sector and allocated above the 15 per cent recommended budgetary allocation to health.
He also informed that his administration would not only tackle the deficit in healthcare manpower but also combat major diseases, especially communicable diseases.
“Since this administration came into being, we have prioritise the health sector. We declared a state of emergency in the sector and have been allocating the above-recommended 15 percent of our total budget to the health sector.
“We are also dedicated to tackling the deficit in healthcare manpower and combating major diseases, especially communicable diseases,” Governor Mohammed said.
The governor said that in its dedicated efforts to reduce the burden of malaria in the state, the Bauchi State government partnered with the Federal Ministry of Health through the National Malaria Elimination Programme, Against Malaria Foundation (AMF), USAID, President Malaria Initiative (PMI-US) and World Malaria Partners to increase access to insecticide treated nets.
Mohammed informed that apart from the free distribution of insecticide-treated nets, the state government was also launching the administration of malaria prevention drugs for 2.5 million children under the age of five, adding that this is with the support of partners in the fight against malaria scourge.
The governor, who said the primary responsibility of the government is the safety and wellbeing of citizens, said the state government would support every life-saving initiative in order to enhance the strength of the health care system in the state.
He said in line with this, the state government activated over 1,000 health facilities in the state as distribution points, while over 27,000 ad hoc staff were engaged for the distribution exercise across the state.
In his address at the event, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Health, Alhaji Ali Babayo, said to ensure the effective distribution of the insecticide-treated nets, the Bauchi State Agency for the Control of HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis, Leprosy and Malaria (BACATMA) had trained the ad hoc staff engaged for the exercise and their supervisors at state and local government levels.
According to him, all necessary arrangements for the successful conduct of the exercise had been made.