Borno State won $1.2 million from the Leadership in Nigeria health care delivery. The state emerged the best performing state in the country in the Leadership Challenge and got best over all winning price of $700,000 and another $500,000 for emerging winner in the Northeast in the best performing zonal awards category. The Leadership Challenge is a flagship programme to revamp the Primary Health Care Under One Roof (PHCUOR) policy in the Nigeria by maximising the commitment of state governors to promoting progressive increase in Primary Health Care (PHC) funding. Other winners who emerged in other zones carted away $500,000 are Kwara for North Central, Jigawa for Northwest, Ebonyi for South East, Rivers for South South and Ondo for South west.
The first runner ups in each zone that got $400,000 each are Federal Capital Territory for North-Central, Bauchi for North East, Zamfara for North West, Abia for South East, Edo for South South and Ogun for South West. Speaking at the event night, the Representative of UNICEF in Nigeria, Cristian Munduate said that 13 states got awarding prices totalling $6.1 million, in recognition and honour of the exceptional leadership of governors who have made significant investments in Primary Health Care, ultimately transforming the lives of women, girls and children across the nation. Munduate who noted that the awards carry not only prestige, but also a deep appreciation for the commitment and positive impact that the recognised governors and their state administration have had in their respective states, however reflected on the journey that led to the award. She said, “So it was November 2019, where the Nigerian governors were hosted in Seattle by visionaries Bill Gates and Alhaji Aliko Dangote. This historical gathering led to the creation of the primary health care leadership challenge. And this is an initiative organised by the Nigerian Governors Forum, the National Primary Health Care Development Agency, and UNICEF, with the generous support of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and the Aliko Dangote Foundation.
“The challenge aimed to enhanced governors commitment to human capital development and primary health care, mobilise state resources, promote accountability and also to innovate for gender specific health outcomes. As you can see, it has been a long journey, and tonight, eagerly anticipate the announcement of the challenge winners. We will be awarding prices totalling $6.1 million. The best performing state in the country will receive $700,000, while each zone winner will be awarded $500,000 and the first runner ups in each zone will receive $400,000. These awards highlight the value placed on progress made towards primary health care and will be used by the winning states to further strengthen their existing efforts and initiatives for primary health care. The governors being recognised today have not only excelled but have also become shining examples for others to follow. Their achievements will be celebrated not only through public recognition, but also through personnel commendation by distinguished individuals, such as the Vice President, the Ministry of Health, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and the Aliko Dangote Foundation.”
Munduate further explained that the main vision behind these investments lie in shared vision to ensure high quality primary health care services that can be accessible and affordable for all women, girls and children in Nigeria, improve the leadership oversight management and delivery of essential health services at the sub-national level where there are building blocks for enhancing an overall health outcome. The UNICEF country Representative said, “The 36 executive governors of Nigeria, under whose leadership we stand today have a unique opportunity to accelerate progress and to create lasting challenge. The primary health care Leadership Challenge awards go beyond monetary values. They motivate governors to increase investments aligned with the Seattle Declaration and the primary health care under one roof strategy while closing the gender gaps and removing barriers in their states. It is important to highlight that this leadership challenge fosters strong federal state partnerships to drive evidence based healthcare delivery and improve health outcomes by pooling resources, sharing best practices and overcoming challenges together. I’m sure we can all achieve better health care for all Nigerians. So, as we celebrate the accomplishments of these exceptional leaders, let us remember that their success is not achieved in isolation. It is a testament of the hard work and dedication of countless individuals from healthcare professionals, to community health workers, to community leaders who have worked tirelessly towards the advancement of health.
” Today we acknowledge their efforts and extend our deepest gratitude to their unwavering commitment. Thank you all for this commitment to the health and the well being of woman and children. Let us stand united and work hand in hand towards our future where every child has the right to live, to thrive and to develop.” In his remarks on behalf of the winners , the Governor of Borno, Babagana Zulum who thanked the challenge partners, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the Dangote Foundation, the National Primary Health Care Development Agency and the UNICEF, for the awards, however assured that they will do everything possible to ensure that primary health care system is enhanced through effective community participation, inter-sectoral coordination, appropriate technology and support mechanisms to all services. Zulum said “I want to assure you this award is not only for the winners, it is award for all of us so that collectively, we can promote affordable healthcare delivery systems in Nigeria. I want to assure you that we shall do everything possible to promote health objectives of establishing healthcare primary health care in Nigeria, which is to bring health care closer to do community.
“We shall do everything possible to ensure that primary health care system is enhanced through effective community participation, through effective inter-sectoral coordination, through effective appropriate technology and indeed, through support mechanisms to all services and therefore, once again, on behalf the awardees I want to convey our deep appreciation to the challenge partners and to assure you all that we will judiciously and meticulously use the funds that were given to us in order to promote affordable, efficient and effective health care delivery systems in our respective states to the glory of God and to the benefit of humanity.