Fiscal Autonomy hinders intervention of child spacing programs in 9 LGs in Kaduna.

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By: Kate Obi/Kaduna

About nine Local Government Councils in Kaduna State Zone 1 North-West, Nigeria has described lack of fiscal autonomy as a major constraint hindering their active role in implementing health intervention programmes such child spacing.

The Councils include Zaria, Kubau, Kaura, Sabon Gari, Giwa, Kudan, Lere, Soba and Makarfi.

The Local government Administrators stated this at a one day interactive forum of an Advocacy meeting in Zaria on funding Childbirth Spacing jointly attended by Directors of Primary Health Care and the Sole Administrators.

The Sole Administrators also noted poor funding, lack of staff, inadequate commodities, lack of awareness, poor logistics, religious beliefs, lack of political will and poor acceptance at the community level as major factors militating the prevention of maternal and child mortality.

The Sole Administrators however pledged their commitment to making a difference in family planning in spite of the competing demands chasing the little resources at their disposal.

In her remark, an official of the Nigerian Urban Reproductive Health Initiative (NURHI) Hajia Khadja Ibrahim Nuhu and organizers of the meeting while speaking on “Understanding the Family Planning Budget and Expenditure in Kaduna State therefore tasked the Sole Administrators to double their efforts in funding the family planning to meet the set goal by 2018 as contained in the National Blue Print of the programme.

On his own part, the Chairman, Family Health Advocate Nigeria Initiative (FHANI), Mallam Shehu Usman Mohammed Makarfi called for regular interaction between the Sole Administrators and Directors of Primary Healthcare so as to have a common understanding on issues of family planning.

“Bridging communication gap between both of you is very important for smooth or improved service delivery,” he said.

Mallam Shehu Makarfi also enjoined the sole Administrators to carry out human resource assessment in their respective local governments with a view to not only producing adequate manpower but building the capacity of service providers.

“Kaduna State, he said, stands at an advantage position of having a School of Health Technology, hence the need for the local governments to utilize the opportunity by sending their staff for training to scale up service delivery.

The FHANI Chairman also reminded them of the Task Shifting innovation among health workers, a system he explained had helped greatly in many African countries.

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