Maternal health of any nation is a strong indication of the wellbeing of that nation. According to World Health Organisation, maternal health refers to the health of women during pregnancy, childbirth and the postpartum period.
Among the health challenges militating against development in Norther part of Nigeria, most especially Kano State is maternal mortally. In the past years, Kano state has recorded the highest maternal mortality rate in the North West.
In tackling and finding seeming solutions to the high rate of maternal health in the Kano, Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC), an organisation that its purpose is to strengthen the link between civil society and the legislature through advocacy, capacity building for civil society groups, policy makers on legislative processes and governance issue has organised a One-day Legislative and Executive Dialogue on Action for Effective Implementation of Policies on Maternal Health.
The dialogue that aims at bringing Kano state’s legislators, executive and civil society arms under one roof to brainstorm on necessary action for effective implementation, oversight of the existing policies, law on maternal and child health in the state drew over twenty participants representing Kano State House of Assembly, Ministries of Health and Women Affairs, Office of the Special Adviser to the State Government on NGOs, Civil Society Organizations, and the Media.
Parts of the challenges observed at the dialogue include lack of local government autonomous and obsolete Primary Health Care facilities in the state, lack of political will and the existing dwindling resource allocation to the health sector are inherent challenges to appropriate domestication and effective implementation of the National Health Act, and delayed in gender inclusiveness in policy and legislative decision making process impedes timely intervention and appropriate understanding of required maternal health care services in the State.
Other challenges include policy inconsistency and lack of harmonious relationship among relevant stakeholders hamper synergy and appropriate policy and legislative direction on maternal and child health in the State, inadequate human resources across health facilities in the state; and over-concentration of the available health care workers in the urban areas at the expense of rural counterparts.
Participants at the workshop want the stakeholders involved in health sector to provide adequate, affordable, accessible and sustainable maternal and child health services in the state through prompt and appropriate policy and legislative intervention, engage in policy and legislative process through constructive and evidence-based advocacy by the State’s civil society and media to prompt required policy and legislative intervention on maternal and child health.
Build synergy among relevant stakeholders in the State to create a formidable force demanding accountability in maternal and child health, create adequate resource mobilization, allocation, timely release and judicious utilization for maternal and child health care fund and ensure provision of adequate human resource allocation, especially across health care facilities in the rural areas to combat the incessant maternal and child deaths from the unskilled birth services.