By SundiataPOST, Abuja
A former Minister of State for Health, Prof. Ali Pate, has called on Ward Development Committees (WDCs) to effectively monitor the performance of health workers deployed to the rural areas.
Pate made the call on Saturday during the inauguration of the (SURE-P MCH) Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT) pilot programme in Bauchi.
The workers, who are under the WDCs, were deployed to the grassroots as part of the Subsidy Re-investment and Empowerment Programme Maternal and Child Health (SURE-P MCH) on service delivery.
The former minister however said any health worker found wanting in the discharge of his or her responsibilities should be disciplined accordingly.
“Government has to ensure that accountability is achieved on how, where and who the CCT is given to, and at where and at what time.
“Health workers deployed under the programme should also discharge their duties. WDCs should be there to monitor and report any failure in service delivery by the health workers,’’ he said.
Pate also called on parents to support and encourage their female children to study health-related courses so that more women would become health care-givers.
In his speech, Gov. Isa Yuguda of Bauchi State said most maternal death were preventable if women accessed appropriate health care during pregnancy, at childbirth and after birth.
Yuguda said the SURE-P MCH CCT programme would further complement the state government’s free maternal and under-five health service currently going on in the state.
“Pregnancy is not a disease, yet thousands of women die in the course of pregnancy and child birth. We must do everything possible to prevent any loss of lives,’’ the governor, who was represented by his deputy, Alhaji Sagir Saleh, said.
He called on members of the public to maintain personal and environmental hygiene, adding that the menfolk should also support and help women, especially with regards to household chores.
Earlier, the Executive Secretary, Bauchi State Primary Health Care Development Agency, Dr Nisser Ali, said the state government had sensitised religious and community leaders on the dangers of home delivery.
He said the agency was also involved in enlightening the populace on benefits of antenatal and post-natal clinics and immunisation.
In her contribution, Malama Maryam Mohammed, a beneficiary of CCT, said antenatal and post-natal services were only accessed by few women in Soro community in the past.
She said this had improved following the introduction of the CCT, which no fewer than 100 women had accessed its services in recent times.