In a rare convergence of temperament, a civil society organisation has openly commended a state government in Nigeria for doing the right thing at the right time. Although many state governments in Nigeria work with civil society organisations, especially development NGOs, it is always a tense relationship. This time, the Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC) is hailing the Kano State Government in Northwestern part of Nigeria for renovating what it called the dilapidated Dausara healthcare centre in collaboration with the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF).
The renovation is the outcome of efforts since 2017 when CISLAC started making trouble over the health facility, including supporting journalists across Kano, Kaduna, Katsina and Jigawa states with support from with support from Foundations such as Macarthur on fact finding relating to maternal health budget allocation, release of same and utilisation in those states. It was irked by its sense of Dausara Primary Health Care Centre as a case of long-time policy neglect, rendering the facility lacking in the functional capability to deliver maternal and child healthcare services.
CISLAC said in a statement that rigorous investigative reports by journalists in Kano state exposed (See: Guardian Newspapers– https://t.guardian.ng/sunday-magazine/failing-primary-healthcare-in-kano/ and Daily Trust Newspapers — https://www.dailytrust.com.ng/bats-sack-workers-patients-from-kano-health-centre.html) exposed the rot and the ill-equipped and pitiable condition of the healthcare as to have been unable to save three pregnant women in 2016 at the facility which serves local communities like Malamawa, Hayin Rimaye, Dan Kunkuru, Zango, Adaraye, Inusawa, Kuriwa, Dauni, amongst others.
In what appears to be the confidence of success, CISLAC is now expressing concern that “ill-funded and obsolete Primary Health Care facilities across the country has been the chief driver of the high rate of maternal and child deaths”. While applauding the Kano State Government’s on-going renovation in Dausara community in Kano, CISLAC Executive Director, Auwal Musa Rafsanjani is urging the extension and replication of such nationwide.
“We also demand appropriate monitoring and oversight on health care workers to ensure full presence and total compliance to medical codes of conduct to restore confidence in citizens and improve attendance at health facilities in the state”, he said.
According to the Lagos based The Guardian which reported the derelict state of the healthcare facility earlier in the year, the facility established in 1977 underwent renovation in 2010 when a development partner intervened. And it is one of the 1, 200 Primary Healthcare Centres (PHCs) serving Kano State. CISLAC did not accompany its statements with pictures that would have shown the scope of work, what percentage of the budget and similar details with which the renovation can be put in context. But the commendation is not a common part of everyday life in the country and it is, therefore, significant.