With a combined score of 78 percent each, Sokoto and Kano states have scored the highest marks among seven North West states in the first quarter assessment of the implementation of the WHO-funded Save One Million Lives initiative in Nigeria.
States of the federation have been allocated $1.5m dollars each for the program, whose objective is to increase the utilization and quality of high impact reproductive, child health, and nutrition interventions.
A report of the performance management assessment for North West put together by the Federal Ministry of Health showed that Zamfara has the lowest score of just four percent, followed by Kebbi with 17 percent and Kaduna with 38 percent.
According to the report obtained by DAILY NIGERIAN, the best performing states are Sokoto and Kano (78%), Jigawa (71%) and Katsina (55%).
In assessing the states, the authors wrote that “Zamfara has failed to establish governance structure for the implementation of the SOML initiative.” It said the state has an agency for primary healthcare backed by law but not fully operational
It added that the poor performance of the state was as a result of its failure to constitute an implementation structure, lack of understanding of the programme and a weak health system.
On Kebbi, which had a score of 18%, the report noted that even though the initiative started early in the state, it is now engulfed in “a lot of problems.”
It said everything was delayed and the state is still far from achieving the Primary healthcare Under One Roof policy, a key component in achieving the SOML initiative.
As for Kaduna, the report commended the government for establishing a steering committee and technical consultative group, but Governor Nasir El-Rufai’s failure to endorse a move to access funds from CBN has hampered progress in Kaduna.
While commending the governments of Sokoto, Kano and Jigawa, the document highlighted that the three states have put in place governance structure with proper arrangement to monitor expenditure.
“They also have motivated leadership. Sokoto in particular has co-opted religious and traditional rulers into the campaign and the result is now evident,” it added.
The SMOL is measured based on increase in the combined coverage of six key services namely: vaccination coverage among young children; contraceptive prevalence rate (modern methods); Vitamin A supplementation among children 6 months to 5 years of age; use of skilled birth attendance; HIV counselling and testing among women attending antenatal care; and lastly, use of insecticide treated nets (ITNs) by children under five.
Apart from improving quality of care index at health center level, the SMOL initiative also ensures increased accountability, improved measurement, strengthened management, encouragement of innovation in handling health related-issues.