By Bukola Hameed
Owing to Governor Babagana Umara Zulum’s performance on primary healthcare delivery, Borno State has emerged winner of the maiden Primary Healthcare Leadership Award both at the national and regional levels for the year 2022.
The win entitled Borno to receive a prize of $700,000 for winning the national champion award and another $500,000 for winning the northeast zonal champion award. The combined prize amounted to one million, two hundred thousand dollars ($1.2m).
The presentation took place on Wednesday at the Presidential Villa in Abuja.
The Primary Healthcare Leadership Award was held for the first time and it was initiated by the Nigerian Governors Forum in collaboration with UNICEF, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Aliko Dangote Foundation and the National Healthcare Development Agency.
The award aims at recognizing and rewarding states that have made significant progress in the delivery of primary healthcare services.
The competition is open to all states in the country with winners selected based on a set of criteria that include leadership and governance, service delivery, human resources for health, logistics support for healthcare providers and monitoring and evaluation components.
At the award presentation, Governor Zulum thanked the organizers for the recognition and said the award would inspire his administration to continue to prioritize healthcare delivery, to ensure all citizens have access to quality and affordable healthcare services.
The Zulum administration has established and renovated over 200 healthcare establishments across Borno’s 27 local government areas and has recruited close to 1,000 medical doctors, nurses, midwives, pharmacists and lab technicians deployed to healthcare centres.
UNICEF’s country representative in Nigeria, Cristian Munduate, the Executive Director of the National Primary Healthcare Development Agency, Faisal Shuaib, and the Managing Director of Aliko Dangote Foundation, Zouera Youssoufou, in their separate remarks urged stakeholders to work harder towards addressing challenges of the Nigerian primary healthcare system.
They cited a lack of personnel, infrastructure and nutritional deficit among children, particularly, in the rural areas.
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