ACCOUNTABILITY PRESS BRIEFING ON THE ACHIEVEMENTS OF BENUE STATE MINISTRY OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES PRESENTED BY THE HONOURABLE COMMISSIONER FOR HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES, DR. (MRS.) CECILIA OJABO AT THE NIGERIAN UNION OF JOURNALISTS (NUJ) HOUSE MAKRUDI ON MONDAY, 6TH MARCH, 2017.
I consider it a big honour and privilege to be invited to the NUJ to present the score card of the two years of the Administration of Governor Samuel Ortom in the Health Sector. Indeed it has been a period of both achievements and challenges.
Before I delve into the subject matter, permit me to acquaint you with some background information regarding the Ministry of Health and Human Services.
Structure: The Ministry is headed by the Honourable Commissioner, followed by the Permanent Secretary who is the accounting officer of the Ministry. There are eight (8) Directorates headed by Directors. These are as follows:
- Directorate of Administration and Supplies
- Directorate of Health Planning, Research and Statistics
- Directorate of Public Health
- Directorate of Medical Services
- Directorate of Nursing Services
- Directorate of Pharmaceutical Services
- Directorate of Finance and Accounts
- Directorate of Medical Laboratory Services
The Ministry has three Health Training Institutions: School of Nursing, School of Midwifery both located in Makurdi and School of Health Technology, Agasha.
The Ministry has over sight functions over the following boards and parastatals.
- Hospitals Management Board (HMB)
- Benue State University Teaching Hospital (BSUTH)
- Benue State Agency for AIDS Control (BENSACA)
- State Primary Health Care Board (SPHCB)
Directorate of Health Planning Research and Statistics:
From inception of the present administration the Department of Health Planning, Research and Statistics of the Ministry has been able to process and execute a total of twenty (20) contracts and other activities as indicated below:
- Construction and renovations of Health Training Institutions Structures
To upgrade and improve the status of infrastructure in the three health training institutions, contracts were awarded for the construction of new and renovations of some existing structures as follows:
- Construction and Renovations at School of Nursing Makurdi:
- Renovation of one multipurpose hall, one store block and attached toilets. Contract is completed and these structures have been handed over put into use.
- Renovation of staff room and expansion of administrative block contract has been completed and handed over.
- Renovation of boys’ hostel and one administrative block. Contract is completed and handed over.
- Renovation of female hostel. Contract is completed and handed over.
- Renovation of three blocks of classroom and with three toilets attached. Contract is completed and handed over.
- Renovation of fence and gatehouse. Contract is completed and handed over.
- Procurement of office equipment for Schools of Nursing and Midwifery: The supply and installation of the equipment has been completed and handed over.
- Procurement of office and classroom furniture for Schools of Nursing and Midwifery. The supply and installation of the furniture is also completed and handover done.
- Construction of three boreholes and water reticulation at Schools of Nursing and Midwifery. Work is still in progress and has reached 85% completion.
- Construction of Sewage plant at School of Nursing and Midwifery Makurdi. Work is ongoing and has reached 80% completion.
- Employment of eighty-six (86) staff comprising of teaching and non-teaching staff to boost the staff strength of the school.
I am happy and proud to state here that because of the cogent steps taken by the Governor by committing needed funds for the renovation of existing structures and construction of new structures, the School of Nursing has regained the accreditation that was lost for over 7 years under the past administration and admission of new students has since commenced for full academic programme.
- School of Midwifery Makurdi:
The following contracts are currently ongoing at the School of Midwifery:
- Construction of a 25 rooms block of hostel. Work on this project has reached 60% completion.
- Construction of a new administrative block. Work on this project has reached 70% completion.
- Construction of classroom block and renovation of existing hall. Work has reached 60% completion.
iii.School of Health Technology Agasha
- Construction fence and gatehouse at the School of Health Technology Agasha: work is ongoing and has reached 90% completion.
- Procurement and installation of 20 HP computers and computers’ tables: the contract has been 100% completed and handed over.
- Construction of three new boreholes and water reticulation: Project has been completed and handed over.
- Re-accreditation process of School of Health Technology Agasha with ongoing perimeter fencing and repairs of thee boreholes.
- Employment of sixty-five (65) new senior staffs to boost the staff strength.
- Repair of two 32 seater buses for the School of Health Technology, Agasha.
- Completion of male and female hostels at the School of Health Technology Agasha: Contract documentation still in progress.
Other contracts awarded for the various schools include:
PROJECTS EXECUTED AT GENERAL HOSPITALS:
- Construction of perimeter fence at General Hospital Gbajimba. Work has been completed.
- Construction of perimeter fence at General Hospital Okpoga. Work is ongoing and has reached only 35% completion.
- Construction of ward at General Hospital Naka. Work is ongoing and has reached 60% completion.
ESTABLISHMENT OF STATE HEALTH INSURANCE SCHEME
In a bid to provide affordable health care services to the teaming citizenry of the state through health insurance scheme, the Government set up a committee to look into the issue of establishing a State Health Insurance Scheme. The team has already completed and submitted its report for further necessary action. With this, soon civil servants will begin to enjoy quality health service at minimal cost and out-of-pocket expenses for health will be a thing of the past.
DIRECTORATE OF PUBLIC HEALTH
The department with the support of development partners carried out the following activities as indicated each unit and a lot achievements have been recorded at different levels of courage. They include:
- State AIDS Control Programme Unit
- Number of HIV Testing Services (HTS) scaled up with HCT sites from 163 (2015) to 619 (2017); ART 168 and PMTCT 496 sites.
- Monthly data collection meeting for January – December, 2016.
iii. Number of pregnant women on PMTCT improved to 9,105 among the expected 42,240 HIV positive pregnant women.
- Total number of persons placed on ART (499, 979 in 2016) increased by 88, 211 (total now is 588, 190 in 2017).
- Number of persons counseled, tested and received results increased from 930, 081 (2015) to 1,179,020 persons (2017).
- Reproductive Health Unit (Adolescence Reproductive Health, Family Planning
- The number of health facilities offering Family Planning Services increased to 215 by 2016 and Family planning commodities supplied to 209 health facilities in 23 LGAs.
- Health Care Workers were trained on long lasting reversible family planning methods and 514 on integration of family planning with HIV services.
- Benue State Adolescence health technical working group has been inaugurated in the state and a 5 year Action Plan on adolescence health and development has been developed.
- Sensitization meeting with stakeholders to institutionalize maternal and perinatal Death Surveillance and Response (MPDSR) in the three senatorial zones; Makurdi, Otukpo and Katsina-Ala to minimize maternal and perinatal deaths.
- Immunization Unit
- Immunization services were successfully carried out with landmark achievements.
- The state participated in the two rounds of NIPDs in February and March, 2016 supported by the state government and conducted in between round activities (IBR) in High Risk LGAs (Guma, Gwer-West, Agatu) to reduce the high number of unimmunized children from 112,300 to 14,869 (in 2016).
iii. Two rounds of IPDs (February and March, 2016) immunizing 2,895,790 covering 122% of under five children. The flag off of first round by His Excellency, the Deputy Governor of Benue in Tarka LGA.
- Five rounds of Outbreak Response (OBR) to Wild Polio Virus (WPV) in Sept/Oct/Nov/Dec 2016 and Jan, 2017 immunizing cumulatively 7,706,611 children below five years.
- Engagement of more Private HFs in RI activities (MOU signed with 60 private HFs)
- 2,162 HWs were trained in 2016 on the new “BASIC GUIDE FOR ROUTINE IMMUNIZATION SERVICE PROVIDERS” for optimal performance of immunization.
- Health Promotion
Mass awareness creation and participation leading to high coverage of target populations during the following events; immunization, Maternal and Child Health Week (MNCHW) in January, 2016 and 2017. Demand creation during LLIN campaign in 2016.
- Three rounds of Maternal New born and Child Health Week (MNCHW) held in July, 2015, January 2016 and 2017 with improved coverage from 90% to 101% for Vitamin A supplementation; 50.4% to 84.7% for deworming and 23% to 27.8% for iron and folate supplementation.
- 150 community counselor and 60 officers in charge were trained on Infant Youth Child Feeding (IYCF).
- Training of 20 volunteer counselors on use of MUAc tape to detect malnutrition in Konshisha LGA.
- World Breastfeeding Week campaign held in Buruku LGA and environs, flagged off by the Wife of the Executive Governor of Benue State in August, 2015.
- Epidemic and disease control
- Intensified surveillance ad sensitization of professional groups on hemorrhagic virus disease in the state was carried out.
- Pre-positioning of drugs and commodities for prompt response to cerebrospinal meningitis, viral hemorrhagic fevers, cholera, measles outbreaks.
- Prompt response to the plight of over 10,224 Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in Makurdi and 8,823 in Agatu LGAs in 2015 and 2016 respectively.
- Sustained and High Level Active Surveillance as well as Interruption of Wild Polio Virus (WPV) to a zero case since 2009.
- Training and re-training of 23 disease surveillance officers in the 23 LGAs and the State to improve response to outbreaks in collaboration with World Health Organization.
- Regular air ling of Jingles as well as mass media charts for mass sensitization of epidemic prone diseases.
- Malaria Control
- 569 distribution points have been activated and through this 2,907 SP, 825, 343 LLINs were distributed.
- Other channels of distribution includes ANC/EPI-68,535, School distribution 4,000 and community distribution – 29,508.
- In May 2016, over 3,056,986 LLINs were distributed in the 23 LGAs.
- Malaria diagnosis and treatment
- Distribution of 1,402,000 Rapid Diagnostic Test Kits (RDTKs) and 1,260,000 Acetamine Combination Therapy (ACT) routinely in Health Facilities (HFs) to mothers and children.
- Onchocerchiasis control
- Conduct of re-orientation and mentoring meeting for 220 Frontline Health Facility Staffs (FLHFS) and 880 Community Drug Distributors (CDDs) in 22 LGAs.
- Training of 8,216 CDDs in 12 LGAs of Benue State.
- Continued Mass Drug Administration (MDAs) of 7,940,490 tablets of Mectizan to 2,382 communities to treat 3,494,714 people for the control of neglected tropical diseases such as onchocerciasis and lymphatic filariasis.
- State Tuberculosis and Leprosy Control
- Training of additional 147 general health workers on DOTS and TB/HIV Collaborative activities.
- Expansion of TB DOTS services to additional 58 DOTS centers with a total of 283 Health Facilities for TB treatment in 23 LGAs.
- Training of laboratory staff on TB AFB microscopy and rapid HIV testing to scale up TB Labs network including EQA system to additional 14 labs with a total of 99 TB diagnostic Labs.
- Notification and enrolment of 9,036 TB patients from 2015 to 2016.
- Treatment success rate increase from current 81% (2015) to 84% (2016).
- 24 Gene X-pert machines installed for diagnosis of resistant TB in various HFs in the state
- A 36 bed new treatment center located at St. Vincent Aliade for the management of Resistant Tuberculosis in the State. Over 36 patients have been treated and discharged in 2016.
- Enrolled 56 Drug Resistant TB patients on treatment and care in the community.
- Enrolled and treated 211 new leprosy patients in 2015 and 219 new leprosy patients in 2016.
- Trained 20 general health care workers, 20 patent medicine vendors and 20 traditional healers on leprosy suspect and refer.
- Integrated Management of Childhood Illness (IMCI)
Awareness creation on ORS and zinc launched by the Wife of the Governor in 2017.
- Mental Health
- Celebration of World Mental Health Day in October, 2016 with mass sensitization through a road walk and distribution of IEC materials in Makurdi metropolis.
- Establishment of Community Based Mental Health Support Groups (CBMHSG) in the state in 2016.
DIRECTORATE OF MEDICAL SERVICES:
- Registration of private health facilities and renewal of premises of old ones – ongoing.
- Monitoring of private health facilities to ensure they keep to standard of practice.
- Registration of private Schools of Health Technology and ensuring that they can pursue their accreditation process.
- Celebration of World Blood Donor on the 14/06/2016 and working towards the state having a State Blood Bank which is already in the budget.
- Working with NMA to make sure all doctors working in Benue State renew their practicing licenses so that quacks cannot find their feet in the State.
- Monitoring medical missions in the state to ensure that health professionals coming to the state are qualified professionals.
- Successfully hosted cardiologists from Greece on a six-day free medical mission to Benue State.
- Setting up task force to monitor and close down substandard Schools of Health Technology.
DIRECTORATE OF NURSING SERVICES
- Employment of core nurse/mid wife tutors and other Academic and non-academic staff.
- Total renovation and furnishing of Schools of Nursing and Midwifery.
- Provision of two 32 seater Marcopolo buses.
- Provision of two official vehicles for the principals.
This had led to the accreditation of the School of Nursing to commence training of nurses. The admission process has been completed and the students have resumed their studies.
Support given to the School has led to significant improvement in the performance of the students in their national examinations.
DIRECTORATE OF ADMINISTRATION AND SUPPLIES
- We have processed the remaining 2014 staff promotions to the office of the Head of Service and the Civil Service Commission respectively.
- Provides supportive services to the other Directorates.
- Advises the Ministry on all Administrative matters.
- Promotion interviews for officers due for promotion from 2015 – 2017 have been successfully conducted and are being processed.
DIRECTORATE OF PHARMACEUTICAL SERVICES
The following achievements were recorded:
- Provision and distribution of four hundred and sixty thousand (460,000) doses of anti-retroviral drugs and five hundred and twenty six thousand, seven hundred (526,700) doses of drugs for opportunistic infections.
- The state distributed 3.5 million insecticides and treated mosquito nets valued at over N3.5 billion. These nets used for replacement campaign and we’ll be embarking on continuous distribution channel to reach out to those who lost out during the campaign. INSECTICIDAL nets from Global Fund project are also distributed on continuous basis to households within the state.
- With continuous assistance from Malaria Action Programme in States (MAPS), a USAID project, CIHP and SFH, the State is able to provide anti-malarial drugs (ACTs) and malaria Rapid Diagnostic Tests (mRDT). These are usually given out free of charge to malarial patients at the various health centres in the state. The State received 791,540 doses of antimalarial drugs worth N223, 649,946.00.
- TB and Leprosy commodities were provided on continuous basis by the state to both private and public facilities in the state. These are distributed to DOT centres in some selected health facilities for easy access to TBL patients.
- HIV/AIDS commodities through the PEPFAR and Global Fund Project are supplied straight to the health facilities that provide the services completely free of charge. The department is responsible for collection. From June 2016 to January, 2017; a total of N3.4 billion worth was distributed to HIV centres in the state.
- The FMOH helped the Ministry to establish a unit within the Department of Pharmaceutical Services for coordinating the supply of health commodities in the state known as the Logistic Management Coordinating Unit (LMCU). This helps in controlling duplication in procurement of commodities by the Ministry and partners. The unit is also vested with the responsibility of carrying out the last mile distribution (distribution to facilities). Challenge here is vehicle needed.
- Furthermore, a second office room for Logistic Management Committee has been furnished with work table, desktop computers, four laptop computers, scanner, projector, printer and photocopier all donated by National Supply Chain Integration project to facilitate data management. Flowing from above, there is dire need for the State to construct a store that will be adequate for storing the items will be received.
- National Acting Committee against AIDS (NACA), in collaboration with the Ministry in renovating blocks in the State Central Medical Stores for storing HIV commodities for distribution to HIV sites within the state and the adjacent states having made our stores a zonal centre. This has helped the state to also warehouse other public health commodities and also remain the only viable store for medicines and other commodities. The challenge here is the need for government to build a suitable store.
- Monitoring and supportive supervision to patent and proprietary medicines vendors on the use of zinc and Low Osmolarity ORS in the management build diarrhea in children.
DIRECTORATE OF LABORATORY SERVICES
- The directorate worked with Centre for Integrated Health Programme (CIHP) to assess the quality of HIV testing (EQA) in 12 Primary and Secondary Health facilities in the state, identified gaps are being bridged. This will bring about improvement in the quality of HIV testing in the state.
- On invitation of the Ministry of Education through HIV and AIDS Control Unit of Ministry of Health, staff of this department conducted a five-day training on modes of HIV transmission, counseling and testing, prevention and control for 46 staff and students of different institutions of higher learning in the state.
Participants were expected to go back and step down the training in their respective schools. The knowledge gained from the training will enable our youths to understanding better their role in HIV/AIDS prevention.
- The directorate is currently working with other departments in the Ministry, National Blood Transfusion Service (FMOH), Free Health Care Charitable Organization, and CIHP to establish a blood transfusion centre in the State. When this is done, safe and adequate blood and blood products will be available for rational use to minimize deaths due to lack of safe blood. Such centres will eventually be built in all the three senatorial districts of the state for easy access.
- SMOH with support from Centre for Integrated Health Programme (CIHP) distributed 96 motorcycles to all the 23 LGAs in the state for improved HIV services.
- Malaria EQA:
An external malaria testing quality assurance exercise was conducted in Benue in October (16th to 25th) this year by the department of Defense Nigeria, Federal Ministry of Health in collaboration with Benue State Ministry of Health and Hospitals Management Board.
About forty-three (43) health facilities were passed for quality of malaria services they are rendering to patients. This is a follow-up to the baseline assessment.
- HIV EQA:
There was another follow-up EQA exercise on HIV testing services in September this year organized by Centre for Integrated Health Programme (CIHP). Staffs of the department were actively involved in the two assessments. There were remarkable improvements in the quality of laboratory services in the two EQA exercises as compared to the baseline assessment.
- The Department successfully distributed 96 motorcycles donated by CIHP so selected Health Facilities in the 23 LGAs of the State.
PRIMARY HEALTH CARE BOARD ACTIVITIES
- The Primary Health Care Board is in operation with the appointment of the Executive Secretary and a Governing Board in Counci.
- A comprehensive survey of the Primary Health Care Facilities was carried out leading to the compilation of staff seniority list for PHC staff in all 23 Local Government Areas.
- We secured support from a partner (PACT) to visit Adamawa State Primary Health Care Board with five (5) directors from 11th – 15th April, 2016. This was conducted and lessons learnt were documented.
- Provision of one Toyota Hilux Van for the Board and an official car for the Executive Secretary (Toyota Corolla).
- We requested and got donation of two four wheel drives from USAID/MAP project, making a total of three 4WD for board.
- Situation analysis of PHCs across the state including staff disposition.
- Compilation of staff personal data of which computerization is already in progress.
- The Board developed 5-year strategic plan for the PHC Board with support from a partner (PACT).
- SMOH handed over Immunization (Routine and implementation of all campaigns), Health promotion programmes, Community Based Health Services including MNCH week implementation and maternal as well as child health component of reproductive health. These include ANC and family planning coordination at PHC facility level.
- And resource machinery between Bureau for LG/CA and LGSC.
- Benue State has been included in Save-One-Million-Lives Performance Result (SOML-PR) programme and the sum of 1.5 million US Dollars has been credited to dedicate Dollars Account of the Ministry making at least one Primary Health Care (PHC) functional in each of the Council Wards in the State. Benue State was the first state in the country to provide counterpart funding match the N1.3 billion USAID for provision of PHC in the state by MDGs.
BENUE STATE UNIVERSITY TEACHING HOSPITAL
Since the beginning of this administration, the Benue State University Teaching Hospital has been fully accredited and has graduated three sets of Medical Doctors totaling 152. The fourth set has graduated and will be inducted soon. This is a significant stride and achievement by the Ortom-led Government considering the fact that these students were stagnated for 12 years before this administration came on board. Accreditation for post graduate training has been attained in most specialties in the hospital.
A Committee was set up by His Excellency to beef up the services.
HOSPITALS MANAGEMENT BOARD
His Excellency, the Executive Governor or Benue State, Samuel Ortom took over from the past administration when there was tension among the various union groups in the board. His Excellency waded into action and quickly achieved amicable resolution of industrial action embarked upon by the Association of Nigeria Nurses and Midwives and subsequent commencement of payment of salaries and allowances of 92 professional staff employed in 2014.
- His Excellency graciously granted approval for the allocation, restructuring, renovation and furnishing of two blocks of buildings (GP 874 & GP 875) along Otukpo Road near FRSC Office. This allocation is for office accommodation for the Headquarters of Hospitals Management Board, Makurdi. The Ministry of Housing and Urban Development is charged with the responsibility of carrying out the renovation work.
- His Excellency also graciously approved and released two new Hilux vehicles to ease supervision and monitoring of the 23 General Hospitals in the state.
- Through support of government, the Board has successfully carried out stakeholders meeting with other Pharmacy related partners (Pharmacists Council of Nigeria, Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria, National Association of Administrative & Hospital Pharmacists) to enhance efficiency in hospital Pharmacy practice.
- In collaboration with the Directorate of Pharmaceutical Service, SMOH, produced draft copy of State Essential Medicines and Medical Supplies List.
- Successfully hosted the North Central procurement supply management team in collaboration with the SMOH.
- With adequate technical support from government, Accounts staff have been trained on the use of POS to collect IGR in all General Hospitals. As a result of this, there has been improved Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) from General Hospitals as indicated below:
May – December, 2015 – N151,276,742.00
January – December, 2016 – N342,608,035.00
Other achievements recorded include the following:
- Approval for payment of non-clinical allowance to all medical doctors in Government Hospitals in the state.
- Improvement of Health Care Delivery Services at the General Hospitals as a result of increased number of Bond Doctors serving their bond agreements and
- Supply of medical equipment to some selected General Hospitals. These include; 7 delivery beds and 2 x-ray machines. There is ongoing work on perimeter fence at General Hospital Gbajimba, Okpoga and construction of Children’s ward at General Hospital, Naka.
- Reduced stigma and discrimination against people living with HIV/AIDS by community sensitization and facilitating the legislation and establishment of State Anti-Stigma Law.
- Within 2015 and 2016, a total of 2,350,126 people were counseled, tested and received results.
- With 2015 and 2016, a total of 87,134 people were enrolled into anti-retroviral therapy (ART) for treatment.
- Within 2015 and 2016, a total of 7,412 pregnant women were enrolled in prevention of mother to child HIV transmission programme.
- Within 2015 and 2016, a total of 13,035 exposed babies were prevented from being infected with HIV from their mothers.
- More than 19 Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) were engaged and coordinated to fight HIV/AIDS amongst Most-At-Risk-Populations (MAPs) within the period.
- Studies on mode of transmission of HIV was done in Benue in 2015.
- Implementation of HIV Minimum Prevention Package Initiative (MPPI) across the 23 LGAs in collaboration with COSs during which 74,626 MARPS were reached within the period.
- Conducting of HIV epidemic appraisal and characterization of MARPS which discovered presence of men sleeping with men in Benue State and developments for them was done within the period.
- Collaborating with IPs in establishing Adolescent and Youth friendly centres in the state to attract them toward access to HIV services.
- Upgrading of over 800 PHCs to HIV counseling and testing service centres, establishing 620 PMTCT sites and 68 comprehensive ART sites across Benue State.
- Benue State Government obtained a grant form World Bank for BENSACA to the tune of N125,370,743 in 2015 and N60,423,310.00 in 2016 which was properly managed in terms of result-oriented disbursement, accountability, proper record keeping within the period.
- Capacity of staff/stakeholders from MDAs, SACA, CSOs and Health Care Facilities were built in HIV programming within the period.
- Work Place Policy was reviewed and operationalized in 2015.
- Successful integration of HIV/AIDS activities into other programmes including MNCH week, TB programmes, Malaria interventions and immunization programmes.
- General increase in demand creation activities, uptake of HIV/AIDS services and reduced HIV-related death within the period.
- Mainstreaming of adolescent HIV programmes and family-focused campaigns across Benue State communities in collaboration with Eunice Spring Life Foundation and UNICEF within the period.
- Knowledge of HIV transmission across age groups had sparingly increased especially among 25 – 29 years within the period.
- There is sustained availability of condoms in the State distributed in Hotels, LACAs and NGOs for easy access to the people within the period.
The Benue State Government under the able leadership of our humane and God-fearing Governor, His Excellency, Chief Dr. Samuel Ortom will continue to improve the quality of lives of the people of the state through the provision of quality health services. I wish to call for the support of all of you men and women of the pen profession in this regard.
Thank you and God bless Benue State.