Abuja — Wife of the president, Aisha Buhari, has said that the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB),Nnamdi Kanu, took advantage of her husband 's absence to create chaos in the country.
LEADERSHIP recalls that President Buhari spent 103 days in London treating an undisclosed ailment.
She spoke at the opening of a one-day Stakeholders meeting on RMNCAH+N - Reproductive, Maternal, Newborn, Child, Adolescent Health and Nutrition, organized by her pet project, Future Assured, which has all state governors' wives, development partners, primary health care coordinators and other state holders in attendance.
According to Aisha Buhari, the absence of the president created a setback which gave Nnamdi Kanu the opportunity to create a state out of a state in Nigeria.
"As a result of the president spending several months outside Nigeria, a 40-year-old man who was still living in his father's house created a state out of a state and that is a major set back for the country and the health sector did not benefit," she said.
Minister Tasks Govs On Massive Investment In Health Sector
The Minister of Health, Professor Isaac Adewole, has charged state governors to give priority attention to the health sector by deploying more resources to it, saying such steps will help to curb the high rate of maternal mortality in the country.
Adewole, who spoke yesterday at a reproductive, maternal, neonatal, child , adolescent health and nutrition meeting held in Abuja with stakeholders organized by Future Assured, a Non Governmental Organisation that is owned by the wife of the president, Hajia Aisha Buhari, lamented the increasing rate of maternal mortality in the country.
The minister commended the first lady for the initiative saying, "This is the change we desire. Wives of leaders must, as of necessity, compliment their husbands by providing much needed support to promote efficient delivery of electoral promises to Nigerians.
"Health is a cardinal deliverable of this administration and it is therefore not surprising that the wife of Mr. President is focusing on health of the vulnerable groups - women and children - through her NGO, Future Assured."
He pointed out that, "Every minute of every day, somewhere in the world, a pregnant woman dies as a result of complications arising during pregnancy or child birth and the majority of these deaths are avoidable in Nigeria.
"Current statistics indicate that, our Maternal Mortality Ratio is 576 per 100,000 live births (NDHS 2013). Maternal Mortality Ratio remains unacceptably high despite significant reduction in Maternal Mortality globally, in the past one and a half decade."
According to him, the major causes of maternal mortality in Nigeria currently are largely preventable if there are adequate resources, adding that one out of every four Nigerian women that died from pregnancy related complications are due to excessive bleeding after childbirth.
"Other causes of death such as infections, hypertension, unsafe abortion and obstructed labour can be averted if there is a strong health system. For example, a significant proportion of state governments do not have up to 10 per cent of skilled birth attendants during delivery. This is probably the most important game changer if we are to reverse maternal mortality trend in this state.
"As you are aware, the under-five mortality rate is still unacceptably high in this country largely due to high newborn deaths but we have made some significant progress. The under-five mortality declined from 201/1000 live births NDHS 2003 to 128/1000 live births NDHS 2013.
"A strong advocacy by Your Excellences to our Governors to invest in health as they do to other physical infrastructure like roads will be desirable."
Harping on steps taken so far by the present government, the minister explained that the Buhari led administration is working to make the PHC the entry point into the healthcare system.
Adewole said, "From the supply side, there are already on-going efforts by the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA) and the Federal Ministry of Health (FMOH) to ensure the availability of at least one functional PHC in each political ward in Nigeria. Based on this, it is hoped that within the next few years, the government will be able to renovate and make them fully functional.
"Mr. President's vision is to provide access for all Nigerians to have good healthcare services. Although health is on the concurrent list, this government took special interest in the revitalization of existing PHCs in the country.
"Our vision is to make 10,000 of the available 30,000 PHCs functional in the life of this administration. We know this is a big idea that needs huge investment. We have started the journey, with Mr. President personally kick-starting the drive at Kuchigoro community in Abuja."
He added that the state governments are expected to champion the initiative through their state Primary Health Care Development Agency, noting that several development partners have also bought into this idea.
The minister added that there is urgent need to make the existing PHCs functional, saying there is no need to construct new ones except in the Northeastern part of the country.
He said that the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) is working with the states in a policy of decentralization of health insurance implementation to the state adding that the move is believed to be the right response to the federal structure, with states having the constitutional power to legislate on health.
"When fully implemented, states would use the social health insurance mechanisms which is more efficient, equitable and transparent, to finance their health systems. The scheme will mobilize resources centrally, which it will use to carry out risk adjustments, especially for the vulnerable persons in the country," Adewole said.