Sokoto House of Assembly Lauds USAID Health Intervention

……… pledged to support sustainability plan 

By Bashir Hassan 

Sokoto State House of Assembly has  commended Engender Health Momentum for Implementing ongoing USAID-funded Safe Surgery Project (MSSFPO) in the State.  

The House also pledged to support any effort geared towards sustaining the best practices learnt for improved healthcare outcomes in the State.

The commendation was made by the Speaker of the House Rt. Hon. Tukur Bodinga in his keynote address recently, at a One-Day High-Level Sustainability and Scale-up Meeting organized by the USAID-funded Momentum Safe Surgery Project which is being implemented by Engender Health, held on May 15, 2024.

Represented by a member representing Gada West Constituency Hon. Kabiru Dauda, who also doubles as the chairman of the house committee  on health, said that as the third tier of Government, the House is impressed with the innovations brought by the USAID MOMENTUM Project especially in the areas of safe clinical surgery and improvement in data management.

The speaker said that the State House of Assembly at all times pays attention to bills associated with improvement of healthcare services in the State, stressing that, “the house will pass a bill that would improve the health service delivery to the people”.

In her opening address at the meeting, State Commissioner of Health Hon. Hajia Asabe Balarabe, represented by Dr. Abdulganiyu Yusuf, Director of Public Health, highlighted the commendable achievements resulting from the State’s collaboration with the EngenderHealth Momentum Safe Surgery Project in the pursuit of quality healthcare delivery. 

She emphasized that strategic partnerships and targeted intervention such as that of USAID Engender Health, have led to tangible improvements in maternal and child health outcomes across Sokoto State. 

Hajia Balarabe enumerated some of the major successes achieved through their partnership with the MOMENTUM Project, including championing fistula efforts and rehabilitation initiatives, capacity building for healthcare workers, enhancing safety protocols, innovative health information digitalization through the HEFRIAS platform, and collective advocacy resulting in a budget allocation of N200 Million for the procurement of fistula repair consumables, among other achievements.

“This landmark achievement reflects our dedication to ensuring the availability of essential resources for life-saving surgeries and reaffirms our commitment to the well-being of our citizens,” said the Commissioner.

Highlighting the objectives of the event, Sokoto State Coordinator of USAID MOMENTUM Safe Surgery, Umar Abdulrazaq, explained that the engagement aimed to assess the status of the project interventions, identify opportunities for sustainability and expansion, and develop strategies for long-term impact in Sokoto State.

Earlier in a welcome remark, Country Representative of EngenderHealth Nigeria, Dr. Kabiru Atta, represented by Mr. Stanley Osayi, elaborated on Engender Health’s intervention, supported by funding from USAID, in the focused areas of Safe Surgery in Family Planning and Obstetrics.

In a closing remarks on behalf of participants, Chief Medical Director of Maryam Abacha Women and Children Hospital, Dr. Hadiza Tori, expressed appreciation for the project’s support on fistula repairs and advocacy efforts leading to the allocation of 200 Million Naira in the 2024 budget for the purchase of fistula repair consumables in the state. 

She pledged to follow up on the release of the funds and further ensure the sustainability and upscaling of the project interventions beyond the lifespan of the MSSFPO project.

The meeting resulted in the development of a sustainability plan encompassing all thematic areas of the project intervention in the state, including Fistula, Ambulance system, Quality of Care (QoC), Female Genital Mutilation (FGM), Comprehensive Emergency Obstetric and Newborn Care (CEmONC), data quality systems DHIS, and NOQA. This plan will undergo costing and be shared with the state before the exit of the project.

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