Locating Ogun In The Comity Of States Health Wise - OPINION - THE ENCOUNTER NEWS


Monday, December 30, 2019

Locating Ogun In The Comity Of States Health Wise - OPINION

Dr. Iziaq Kunle Salako
ABEOKUTA - The stewardship report of the OGD led government including for the health sector have been given severally and can also be found in many publications including The Ogun State Health Bulletins, a 5 volume publication tagged "The Landmark, A Compendium of Financial Statements (2003-2010), In The Sands of Time" and several such publications which are public documents. 

Those of us who had the privilege of serving in that government have also severally in the past years responded including on the social media to set the record straight. Here we are more than 8 years after leaving office still being asked questions on our tenure.

 I believe a stewardship report by the head of an agency of government should not be reduced to the narrow prism of loyalty or disloyalty to the chief executive. It is an obligation owned to the populace and in fact in the enlightened self-interest of such a head of agency to do. I therefore congratulate my friend and colleague, Dr. Babatunde Ipaye for the stewardship report and more importantly for benchmarking using outcome impacts which better reflects quality of life of the people. The struggle to improve the life of the people is work in progress. Public office holders will come, add their bits to it for others coming after them to continue.

The National Demographic and Health Survey (NDHS) 2018 released a few weeks ago unlike previous ones in 2003, 2008 and 2013 disaggregated early child mortality (Neonatal 
Mortality, Under 5 mortality, Infant Mortality and the like) to reflect state figures making it possible for states to locate themselves among comity of states with respect to these indicators using the NDHS. In the previous surveys for 1999-2003, 2004-2008 and 2009-2013 comparison was based on geopolitical regions with respect to early child mortality and 
South West consistently performing the best and North East the worst.

 In general, Nigeria have been witnessing declines in these indicators albeit not as steadily and steeply as expected for a country with the socio-economic circumstances of Nigeria. For example, the maternal mortality ratio MMR for Nigeria declined by 30.4% between 2000 and 2017 while the under 5 mortality rate declined by 34% between 1999 and 2018.

Using data from The District Health Information System, in 2010, U5MR for Ogun State was 24 compared to 90 for the SW (NDHS 2013). Equally, the Nigeria MDGs report 2013 showed 
that in 2012, Ogun State had the lowest infant and under 5 mortality rates in Nigeria. 

Against this background and considering that the early child mortality rates reflected in NDHS 2018 are actually rates for the 10 years preceding the survey, Ogun State have been 
doing better than other States in Nigeria in terms of child survival for some time prior to 2018 and prior to the entry of the SIA led administration.

In terms of policy and project inputs, the OGD government activated the School of Nursing, Ilaro and handed over the school and others in Abeokuta and Ijebu-Ode accredited by the Nursing and Midwifery Council of Nigeria. Similarly, the Primary Health Care Development Board, The Ogun State Ambulance Service, The Ogun State Health Strategic Plan, semi-autonomy for selected public secondary health facilities, Health facilities standardization programme, the at least 1 PHC per ward and 1 general hospital per local government initiative are some of the innovations in the health sector initiated by the OGD government and handed over to the succeeding administration. 

 Nigeria and Ogun State was not able to deliver on most the targets of the MDGs in 2015. The SDGs2030 are the new benchmarks that has been set by the global community which Ogun State needs to work towards. Ogun State currently have the highest HIV sero-prevalence rate in SW Nigeria (NAIIS, 2018), we are one of the few states yet to assess the Basic Healthcare Provision Fund as at Jan. 2019 while the challenge of manpower, dilapidated infrastructure and optimal functionality of our health facilities remains as challenges for the new government. 

The government under the leadership of Prince Dapo Abiodun therefore needs to keep its eyes on the ball and ensure that it contributes it quota so that by 2030 when the world is carrying out another self-evaluation in these areas, Ogun State will not be found wanting.

Dr. Iziaq Kunle Salako writes from Ogun State.

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