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ZAMFARA @ 26: THE CRISES OF THE HEALTH SECTOR

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By

Anas Sani Anka

Managing Editor


Health sector is one of the pillars often which people used to measure sustainable development of every society. Zamfara since it’s creation in 1996, stakeholders are of the opinion that successive and current governments have not done well to enhance it to the basic minimum standard. They believed without the support of the development partners the state health sector would have been in state of comatoes.

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The revelation on the Zamfara health sector twenty six years after is short of developmental inspiration as experts believed Zamfara is lagging behind in all the basic indicators.

Twenty six years after the state has on the average of seven hundred health facilities taking care of over five million people and with scarce human resources that are depreciative in number.

According to the data by the former Chairman of the Nigerian Medical Association in Zamfara Dr. Mannir Bature, Zamfara state has a total number of just (350) medical doctors with over 75% of them based at Gusau the capital city of Zamfara state and distributed across the Federal Medical Centre Gusau, Yariman Bakura Specialist Hospital, King Fahad and Farida Specialist Hospitals respectively.

On the average look one medical doctor per (1000/1) patients – doctor ratio the state presently is in need of at least additional medical doctors to meet up with the growing human resource needs. Additionally however, the state is facing serious internal and external brain- drain mantra. Some medical doctors are exiting state health facilities to other states that have better working conditions as well as those leaving the country to other catchment opportunities in another countries.

Dr. Mannir Bature in an exclusive interview with Thunder Blowers said, even last week he had written referee Report to many medical doctors as well as Consultants who are leaving Zamfara and the shores of Nigeria to the Kingdom of Saudi and rest,

Another point of lamentation is that, the state’s 26 years after does not have any medical doctors training institutions and that affect our chances to grow more medical doctors that can satisfied our human resources for health needs. The very few or limited number of those who filled in our vacancies at the famous Usmanu Danfodiyo University Sokoto, Ahmadu Bello University Zaria and Bayero University Kano.

As for the availability of infrastructure the condition is that even the existing seven hundred health facilities that we have do not have the matching standards in terms conducive working environment especially the requisite facilities. It will surprise the reader of this piece to note that in the whole of Zamfara state it was just very recently one single (C.T. Scan ) Machine) was procured at the Federal medical Centre Gusau. This C.T. Scan Machine is commonly found at the General Hospitals at Katsina and the parts of the neighboring states.

The state as at now does not have a single Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) Machine. There are other basic facilities required for the medical practitioners and that alone constitutes the basic rationale behind the migration of medical personnel.

In the opinion of Dr. Bature none of the existing Primary Health Care Centres in Zamfara has reached the Minimum Basic Standard of operation or in alternative “Basic Minimum Package”. Despite the fact the state has all the laws needed to facilitate health care management, the government is not apt in following the laws guiding the operations of health care management in the state. “we have the primary health care development agency in Zamfara and we have Zamfara Contributory Health care Management Agency (ZAMCHEMA) and because the federal government of Nigeria in collaboration with the World Bank had established the Basic Health Care Provision Funds money are provided to these organs of the government for onward distribution to primary Health Care Centres in the state. The question begging for an answer is, are these organs releasing the funds as instructed and for the sole purpose?.

Another problem that is affecting the health sector in Zamfara is the lack of political will on the side of the government to provide adequate funds that are needed to develop the sector. The issue is not even the appropriation of the funds but releasing what was appropriated to provide the basic services. If one makes an analysis of the health sector budget in Zamfara for the past ten years it was not more than one time the budget of Zamfara health sector crosses the borderline of 15% and even with that the budget performance in terms of releases hardly goes beyond 20%. If not for the donor agencies Zamfara state health sectors would have been in shambles.

Currently the condition of some of our secondary health facilities especially the General Hospitals is basically worrisome. General Hospitals Tsafe, Anka, Gummi and rest are all in such a condition that is non-attractive to human habitation.

On the availability of Health training institutes, it was alarming to state that, apart from the state government owned school of Nursing and Midwifery and College of Health Sciences Tsafe there are no other health training institutions established by the government in 26 years to cater for the training of human resource for health. Katsina for instance has an average of five School of Nursing and over ten Colleges of health sciences. Sokoto has four Schools of Nursing and many colleges of health Sciences.

There is also the case of corruption involving the Health Service Management Board of Zamfara where a lot of ghost workers are fused into the state Payroll. Evidence has established that the Board over the years has become a conduit – pipe where names of ghost officers are smuggled into the Payroll of the state. A 2021 Audit conducted by the Chairman of the Board was able to establish names of medical doctors/officers on transfer, those whose contracts have expired, those whose licenses have expired as well as those without health related qualifications but smuggled into the Payroll of the Health Management Service Board because of their special salary scale. This ugly development has affected the capacity of the state to be able to recruit more professional health personnel.

Finally the operation of the private hospitals in Zamfara is also another source of concern as government has neglected its role of supervision and monitoring of private health facilities. Record has shown that, many private health institutions in Zamfara are operating with an Interim Accreditation and the Inspectorate Division of the Ministry of Health is not able to conduct regular visitatio of the private health facilities in Zamfara to see their modus operandi.

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ZAMFARA SEN. YAU INAUGURATES 2023 CAMPAIGN URGES CONSTITUENTS TO VOTE FOR TINUBU & ALL APC CANDIDATES

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The Senator representing Zamfara North Sahabi Alh Yau has inaugurate his 2023 campaign at Kaura Namoda local government area, the headquarters of the Senatorial zone.

The campaign inauguration was attended by hundreds of party supporters and well-wishers who joined the campaign rally with jubilation.

The Senator who expressed satisfaction with the effort he has put in place so far in delivering to his 2019 campaign promises assured that if provided the opportunity again, he will do more to consolidate from what he has done and ensure that more federal opportunities are brought to the door steps of his constituents.

He took time to make a review of his stewardship and thanked his constituents for given him the opportunity to represent them at the Nigeria’s upper chamber.

On the APC Presidential candidature, Sen. Yau in insisted that, Tinubu and Shetima Presidential candidature is the best option for Nigeria especially with the effort put in place by the Buhari led administration and why the gesture need to be sustained.

He urged people of his constituency to massively vote for Tunubu and Shatima as well as all the APC candidates across the board.

AFormer Governor Mahmuda Shinkafi, former Sen. Tijjani Yahaya and a host of other prominent personalities from the Zone attended the campaign Flag off.

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ZAMFARA: WHY ENGR SULEIMAN GUMMI’S DESPERATE TACTICS WON’T SAVE PDP

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OPINION ARTICLE

By

Yusuf Idris Gusau

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This is no doubt the best of times for the main opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Zamfara State.

The party and its many candidates deserve the sympathy of all for the current situation it finds itself in.

Having lost all hopes of making any impact in the forthcoming general elections, it has resorted to untoward means, behaving like a bull in a china shop, destroying anything and everything in its way.

But how can a party of PDP’s standing, which has been in power at some points for many years and its candidates behave like deranged women whose kids have suddenly gone missing?

In this moment of madness, there should be a sane member within the lot who could rein them in; a rallying figure who could calm the fraying nerves.

But when a ranking member of one of the country’s highest law making body, the House of Representatives, Suleiman Abubakar Gummi’s joined the fray, it then becomes obvious that the situation is irredeemable.

The party, as it were, is doomed and at a dire point of no return.

The honourable member of the House of Representatives has swelled the number of the PDP’s attack dogs whose targets include the ruling party and the state chief executive, Governor Bello Mohammed Matawalle.

In a press statement he recently signed on behalf of “PDP candidates” titled “On critical national alert” Gummi went the “dishonourable” path by throwing decorum to the wind and lunched viral attacks on person and personality of Governor Matawalle with no iota of respect for his seat as the father of the state.

In doing so he deployed uncouth, crude and abusive language symptomatic of those low level maniacs unleashed at every opportunity as dogs of war.

But why will anyone be surprised at the action of this charlatan who forgot that his behavior could rob off on the integrity of the lower chamber he represents and taint the reputation of his colleagues in that reputable and respected institution? He is PDP member in the state after all and their stock in trade is to cause breach of peace in the state.

In the said press statement, Gummi went a rigmarole quoting the respected late social crusader, Martins Luther King and dancing around in circle.

From all his outing and vituperations, the only take away was the supposed arrest on Monday, November 28, of the party’s candidate for Zamfara central senatorial district, Alhaji Ikira Aliyu Bilbis by the police on charges of vandalism, which he claimed were trumped up.

In trying to elicit public sympathy to himself and co-travelers, he lumped the current issue with the earlier arrest of the Nigeria Union of Journalists chairman in the state but as usual, his effort failed to invoke the emotion and public outcry he had envisaged.

But let us even give him the benefit of the doubt and interrogate the issues his outing threw up. He has informed the public why Bilbis was arrested, but said the charges were “trumped up”. Really?

How did Gummi who is a lawmaker come about such a position over an issue that is before a court of law? Why is he in a hurry to clear the accused even before the court adjudicate on the matter.

The police even from Gummi’s statement did the needful by arresting Bilbis. They (police) did not hold him or keep him for long in their cell but charged him to court after their investigation.

The onus is therefore on the accused to exonerate and clear himself of the allegations.

The court even went ahead to grant him bail as Gummi testified in his statement. So why is it anybody’s fault if the accused failed to meet the bail condition? And because his associate failed to meet the stipulated condition to effect his release, Gummi is now accusing the judge and police of being tools in the hands of Matawalle in his alleged witch hunt of the opposition.

If a sitting governor is desirous in tackling an opponent who is clearly linked with a crime it would have been easy to clamp such person in police custody and claim that investigation is still ongoing as has been the case everywhere.

However, in this case, the police did not waste anytime in charging the accused to court where he is expected to defend himself. The court and its presiding judge should be commended for the expressway it granted the accused bail instead of being needlessly vilified like Gummi is doing.

His allegation that Matawalle was trying to muzzle the main opposition to whittle down their power and influence in the forthcoming elections is laughable because the PDP is not in reckoning and not a threat to APC in anyway.

He even went ahead to list those he thinks Matawalle will go after including the party’s governorship candidate, Lawal Dauda Dare. Waoo! Is this not absurd? Is Lawal Dare even in contention for the governorship race with all the court cases dangling over his head?

The so called governorship is still traumatized over his defeat at the federal high court, which nullified the primary that produced him and recently, the Appeal court.

It is fundamental to note that his ordeals were from his own very party and has nothing to do with Governor Matawalle. So it’s absurd to blame others for PDP’s misfortune and allege that anyone would hunt it’s candidates whose political future are uncertain.

And resorting to violence as a means to an end like the party and its members have been doing could only heighten the already tensed atmosphere which Matawalle has been working round-the -clock to manage.

The billboard saga wasn’t the only violent imprints the party has left on its route to 2023, a rally at its governorship candidate’s home had led to lost of Iives even as many were wounded. It’s sad that Gumi left out such important development from his statement.

As per the NUJ chairman which Gummi tried unsuccessfully to lump Bilbis case with to draw inspiration, he should have done the needful by telling the public the background of the affected person and the circumstances leading to such state of affairs to enable them appreciate and interrogate the issue based on its merit.

It’s imperative that Gummi calls a press conference or issue another statement to shedlight on the matter.

Having come from an honourable family, one would have thought Gumi will keep the legacy of the parental training we thought he received, unfortunately, even if he had such grooming as he was growing up, elements of bad politics and the fear of losing in the upcoming 2023 general elections have infuriated to throw away his sensibilities and turn disrespectful, dishonourable and regardless.

Certainly, with the overwhelming wind of mass support and mass mobilization going on in the APC, the likes of Gumi will not even be noticed when the electorate cast their votes to bring in APC at all levels in the coming elections.

As it were, rep Gummi achieved nothing by his recent desperate tactics. The PDP is doomed and irredeemable, and by 2023 the party will go into permanent extinction in Zamfara State.

Yusuf Idris Gusau
APC Publicity Secretary
Zamfara State
4th November, 2022

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FMR. ZAMFARA GOV. YARI CONDOLES SEN. WAMMAKO

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Former Governor of Zamfara State Abdulaziz Yari Abubakar has paid a condolence visit to Sen. Aliyu Magatakarda WAMMAKO over the demise of his wife.

Yari who described the deceased as God-fearing and devoted Muslim who has offered much serving humanity.

He urged the husband and indeed the family to take solace and consider the exit of the deceased as a call to eternity.

He prayed for God almighty to grant her Jannatul Firdausi and blessed what she has left behind.

Sen. Aliyu Wammako thanked the former Governor and his entourage for the condolence visit and prayed for God almighty to bless them accordingly.T

he former Governor has among his entourage Amb. Abdulrahaman Buba Kwacham among many other prominent personalities.

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