By Salihi Abubakar Bello
The Executive Director of Resource Centre for Human Rights and Civic Education (CHRICED), Dr. Ibrahim M. Zikirullah has stated that the overall goal of its phase four project is to reduce maternal and child mortality in two target local government areas of Kano State.
He this could be achieved by improving inclusion, transparency and accountability in planning and management of health budgets and programmes in the state.
In an inaugural press briefing and launch of the new phase of the project of promotion of democratic participation in the state, held at Mambayya House, Kano, Dr. Zikirullah added that the project has specific focus on the thematic issue of maternal and child health.
He recalled that in April, this year, at the same venue, he addressed a press conference to close out the phase three of the project entitled: ‘Social Mobilisation for Transparency and Accountability in Maternal Health Resource Budgets in Kano State.’
He stated that the organization was able to secure the approval of their distinguished partners, Misereor/KZE of Germany of the new phase, entitled: ‘Strengthening Maternal Health and Child Care through Accountability Interventions in Kano State.’
Dr. Zikirullah disclosed that in the implementation of the project, his organisation would work in concert with communities and key policy makers, agencies in the state Ministry of Health and their counterparts in the two local government areas of Gwale and Kumbotso.
He reiterated that the center, in concert with the communities, would keep track of key health outcomes as they affect the project target group.
According to him, in the new project, they will have some synergies with health professionals, community associations and community leaders as critical gatekeepers to generate a model for improving health interventions that can be adopted by the state government and replicated across the state.
The Executive Director hoped to achieve key project milestones by reducing the risk of maternal and child mortality in project communities.
Dr. Zikirullah further maintained that the new project, via its outcomes, objectives and goals, would engage the governance process to bring about behavioral changes across the demand and supply side of the maternal health accountability chain.
In his statement, apart from the awareness, it would give to the citizens about their rights and responsibilities, he said the project would push for the best practices, transparent approaches and the adoption of open government models to deepen transparency and accountability in the utilisation of maternal health resources.
According to him, the project is domiciled in the two areas and has state wide focus.
He explained that for every programme, they bring government in and allow it to participate, which in turn its officials feel the concern of their subjects.
He added that the only way to prove to the public the authenticity of their work is by organising press conferences, seminars, community enlightenment campaign and conducting stakeholders meeting, citing an example of a recent event they hosted and invited the state three Senators out of which only one of them sent representative, while others declined.
He maintained that in its new project, the center invited local government officials, state assembly members, appointed and elected officials with a purpose of those invited got to know the needs of their people.
Dr. Zikirullah said their intervention is a research-based and had carried out research on health mortality in Gwale and Kumbotso areas, adding that it is in possession of available documents of the records of the outgone phase three project.