Birth Registration: EU, UNICEF Issued Certificates to Over 30,000 Children in Kebbi LGA

By Alex Uangbaoje, Birnin Kebbi

Following the low level of Birth Registration (BR) in Nigeria, as identified by the National Population Commission (NPopC), the European Union (EU), and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), in November 2018 launched a project to take BR to homes in Kebbi State.

The project, Earmarked Area Demarcation (EAD), exercise has reached thousands of children under the age of five in the state with Birth Registration and also presented them with certificates, according to Jude Inegbebor, UNICEF Child Protection Consultant in Kebbi, under Sokoto Field Office.

Jude, who spoke with journalists in Firjin Community, Jega Local Government Area of the state when UNICEF Communication Specialist, Rabiu Musa, led a team of media monitors to the LGA, revealed that already over 30,000 children under 5, have been registered and issued with their certificates of birth through the exercise.

According to him, the house to house exercise which is currently ongoing, is meant to ensure that any child under 5 who is not registered will be captured and issued with certificate immediately.

While addressing the registrars, the UNICEF consultant, urged them to ensure no child is left out in the exercise and to also be focused and committed in carrying out their assigned responsibility so as to reach those the programme is meant for and issue them with certificate adequately.

On the benefits of BR to the society and health care initiatives, Jude, said it “provides data on fertility and mortality disaggregated by age and gender. Provides data on causes of death, relative impact of specific diseases on mortality which can lead to policy interventions.

“Provides data for planning in Health, Education, Social Security, Insurance, etc. Also, provides indicators for monitoring population dynamics and development goals and targets like the SDGs.”

On child survival and development, He added, “Birth registration is critical for child survival and development goals and is important for health initiatives, particularly: Counting and planning for health interventions, Accurate timing of health events including vaccination.
BR activities increase demand for health interventions (e.g. immunization days).

Also speaking, Khadijat Ibrahim, Supervisor, Vital Basic Registration in the Ward, said the house to house exercise have been going on smoothly and adequately with a lot of results to show for it.

“This exercise is a boaster to what we are doing in the state, registrars are sent to designated locations in various parts of the state. Jega, is the focus in this phase and this is the third LGA implementing this exercise.” She explained.

Basic Health Provision Funds: MNCH2 Trains CSOs in Kaduna on Spending Accountability

By Alex Uangbaoje, Kaduna

As part of measures to ensure accountability in the spending and implementation of the Basic Health Care Provision Fund (BHCPF) in Kaduna State, Maternal Newborn and Child Health (MNCH), on Friday commenced a two day training for members of a coalition of Civil Society Organizations (CSOs), known as Kaduna State Accountability Mechanism (KADMAM).

MNCH2, is a Department for International Development (DFID) funded project improving the quality of life for women and children through the empowerment of communities and the strengthening health systems in Northern Nigeria.

According to MNCH2 State Strategic Planning Coordinator, Dr. Tijjani Maji, the BHCPF, is a framework for the implementation of basic healthcare services in Nigeria covering over 20years.

According to him, “the primary purpose of this Fund is to ensure adequate and sustainable funding that will be efficiently and equitably used to provide quality health services and ensure financial risk protection in access to health services for all Nigerians, particularly the poor and most vulnerable.

“The Fund serves to increase the fiscal space and overall financing to the health sector to assist Nigeria achieve Universal Health Coverage (UHC).

“The BHCPF serves as a mechanism to operationalize the NHAct, as well as to help Nigeria achieve the goals of UHC.
It increases access to primary health care services for all Nigerians, especially poor and vulnerable, through State Health Insurance Schemes and a set of free services at PHCs, as well as emergency treatment.

“The Basic Health Care Provision Fund (BHCPF or “The Fund”) is established under Section 11 of the National Health Act (NHA Act 2014), as the principal funding vehicle for the Basic Minimum Package of Health Services (BMPHS).”

Dr. Maji, explained that, the majo group of people expected to benefit to the fund are, pregnant women, children under five (5) years, the elderly in their 85 years of age, the disabled, the poor and Vulnerable.

He said the programme will be funded by the Federal Government annual grant of not less than one per cent of its Consolidated Revenue Fund (CRF);
Grants from Donor/Partners and (WB, DFID, USAID, BMGF), and other sources that may be identified by the government.

Dr. Maji further explained that of the total fund that will be received for the purpose, 5% will be met for operations cost. The balance of 95% will be distributed to the gateways such as; National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) 50% to purchase services.

National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA) will get 45% for support of services, Federal Ministry of Health (FMoH), will get 5% for emergencies. And that the funds that will flow to the facilities, in this case Primary Healthcare Centres, will come from both the NHIS and the NPHCDA.

On the objective and purpose of the training, MNCH2 Accountability Coordinator, Elkana Aliyu, said the CSOs are expected to have the basic knowledge of the BHCPF. And to be able to situate the BHCPF within the context of UHC.

He added that, they can also be able to, “explain the rationale for establishing the BHCPF, identify the beneficiaries of the intervention.

“Explain the BHCPF governance structure and the roles and responsibilities of BHCPF stakeholders at the federal level, state and local and community level. Agree and develop action to support implementation of BHCPF in Kaduna.

On his part, Co-chair of KADMAM, Alhaji Mustapha Jumare, who was represented by the Secretary, Isah Gidado, appreciated organizers of the training for building capacity of it’s members.

“Is it really a big opportunity for us as a coalition, and promise to do our best developing actions for the implementation of the fund and ensure it is adequately utilized.” He said.

He therefore, urged the participants to take the training with utmost seriousness so as to achieve the objectives.