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In Gombe NGO advocates more funding for healthcare

The NGO is currently running similar campaigns in five other African countries with a view to raising public expectation of maternal, new-born survival.

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Ibrahim Dankwambo play

Gombe State Governor, Ibrahim Dankwambo

(the paradigmng)

The Country Director of Mamaye in Nigeria, an NGO, Dr Tunde Segun, has called on the Gombe State Government to increase funding for healthcare services in the state.

Segun made the appeal in Gombe on Tuesday during the launch of Mamaye Evidence for Action campaign in the state.

He said Mamaye is currently running similar campaigns in five other African countries with a view to raising public expectation of maternal and new born survival.

Represented by Mrs Fola Richie-Adewusi, the country director said the organisation uses evidence to drive advocacy and accountability in public expenditure towards efficient use of resources.

“Mamaye is not a project but a campaign that everyone is expected to play a role.

“The key issue in Mamaye is keeping MNH in the spotlight,” the country director said.

While decrying the high rate of maternal and new born deaths in the North East, Segun however commended the Gombe state government for initiating projects aimed at mitigating the issue.

He also urged the state government to invest more to save the lives of pregnant women and children.

Gombe state government has been called to ensure the proper development of the state by allocating adequate health budget as well as ensure timely release.

Alhaji Yahya Hammari, the Chairman, Gombe State Primary Health Care Development Agency (GSPHCDA), said allocating adequate funds and ensuring timely release would improve health indices, especially as it affects maternal the new born and adolescents.

He also urged the government to replace education as its first three priorities with health as the second priority.

The chairman said that an unhealthy population cannot adequately exploit the windows provided by education, not to talk of development.

He said government should take advantage of the campaign and do the right thing now that the international donors, which make up for some of its lapses in health sector were around, noting that most of them are winding up their activities in the country.

Dr James Mahdi, the Director, Gombe State Hospital Services, said the frightening statistics that says the North East region has the highest maternal and child mortality rate in the country was not a good story for the state, even when it is disaggregated.

He said the state has been doing a lot to improve the indices but a lot of grounds still needed to be covered.

The state Commissioner for Health, Dr Kennedy Ishaya, said the administration had increased the number of nurses and midwives to over 1,000 from the inherited 177 in 2011, in determination to address the manpower needs confronting the state.

The 2014 World Health Organisation (WHO) report pegs maternal mortality rate in Nigeria as 560 deaths per 100,000 live births, with the North East having the highest maternal mortality rate of 1,549.

The North East also has the highest death rate of fewer than five children with 260 per 1,000 births.

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