BaSAM presents scorecard, calls for adequate budgetary provisions for health

Samuel Luka, Bauchi

As Bauchi citizens anticipate the 2024 budget in weeks to come, a Coalition of Civil Society Organization under the umbrella of Bauchi State Accountability Mechanism for Maternal Newborn and Child Health (BaSAM) have called on the state government to ensure timely and adequate releases of budgetary provisions to the health sector, especially FP and Equity fund for the enrollment of vulnerable populations.

Mr. John Abu, the Co-chair of the BaSAM made the call while presenting a scorecard on Bauchi State Universal Health Coverage (UHC) on Tuesday at the Command Guests House, Bauchi.

The scorecard which was developed and printed with the support of the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) Integrated Health Program, Nigeria on behalf of the American people, according to BaSAM, does not necessarily reflect the views of the U.S. Government.

BaSAM is a Coalition of Civil Society Organization that is concerned with issues of health financing in Bauchi state.

In the scorecard, BaSAM observed that the spending by Bauchi state government on health is inadequate due to the state has an increasing population of over 70% living below the poverty line.

While commending the state government for achieving the 15 percent allocation to the health sector in addition to construction of numerous health facilities across the state, BaSAM requested that the Bauchi state Primary Health Care Development Agency (BSPHCDA) make adequate budgetary provisions in future to improve the availability of Child spacing commodities.

Mr. Abu said that the financial risk protection data shows less than 5 percent of the population has financial risk protection, which implies that health expenditure is majorly through household out-of-pocket expenses.

He said that the scenario has the potential to push households into poverty.

The Co-chair of BaSAM said it was imperative for the government to ensure the release of equity funds for the enrollment of households into the state health insurance scheme under the Bauchi state Health Contributory Management Agency (BASHCMA).

Mr. Abu pointed out that the scorecard involved a review of identified gaps within the health facility, analysis and provision, with the inclusion of the change idea strategies, and associated costing input in the quarterly business plan.

“The indicators provide a clearer pathway for the documentation of the quality improvement process within the facility improvement template for the purpose of monitoring and measuring (baseline and current level of performance”, BaSAM said.

It added that the performance of the health facilities to implement their quality improvement plans has resulted in significant improvement in the quality of healthcare processes.

BaSAM, with technical support from USAID funded Integrated Health Program (USAID IHP), previously produced the first series of the Bauchi Universal Health Coverage scorecard for 2022 and disseminated it in May this year.

The CSO observed that Bauchi state is faced with an increase in Maternal and child mortality despite general increase in service delivery from 2021 to 2022.

It further observed that the quality of Antenatal Care (ANC) services still needs to improve as ANC 4, use of IPT and facility delivery is still below acceptable limits.

The Scorecard said significant improvement is therefore needed for the achievement of the 2030 SDG target for Maternal mortality which is to reduce maternal death to less than 70/100,000 live births per year.

It said that the child health services still showed less integration with other PHC Services, which the CSO noted, has implications for the SDG target for under-five child mortality rate to less than 25 deaths per 1000 and neo-natal mortality to 12 deaths per 1000 live births.

The organization also observed that density of health workers is a good proxy for a state’s capacity to deliver health services.

“The Bauchi state density of health workers is below the SDG Index threshold (4.45 physicians, nurses and midwives per 1000 population) and therefore has implications for the quality of services delivered in our PHCs”, the BaSAM said.

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