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The Resource Centre for Human Rights & Civic Education (CHRICED) has started an innovative data gathering project to track the use of funds earmarked for maternal healthcare in Kano State.
Addressing newsmen on the project, CHRICED helmsman, Comrade Dr. Ibrahim Zikirullahi said the focus of the project on funds provided for maternal health, was borne out of the need to ensure that budgets for maternal health translate into meaningful and measurable outcomes in the lives of citizens.
The CHRICED Executive Director noted that the link between lack of accountability and Nigeria’s poor maternal health indices is well established.
“In fact, the 2017 Chatham House Report; Collective Action on Corruption in Nigeria stated that between 2005 and 2014, some $182 billion was lost through illicit financial flows from the country.
This stolen common wealth, the report notes, represents the investment gap in building and equipping modern hospitals to reduce Nigeria’s exceptionally high maternal mortality rates – estimated at two out of every 10 global maternal deaths in 2015 and procuring vaccinations to prevent regular outbreaks of preventable diseases.”
He explained that with the focus on where funds budgeted and released for maternal health end up, citizens would be inspired to use the knowledge gained from previous phases of the project to ensure maternal health resources are properly tracked.
He added that in the course of the project, citizen monitors will be equipped to follow the money being expended on maternal healthcare, especially in the Primary Healthcare Centres (PHCs).
“With this intervention, we hope to see far-reaching changes across the demand and supply side of the accountability chain.
CHRICED will be looking out for clear cut policy changes on the supply side, as a result of sustained accountability demands by citizens and informed value for money analysis on the expenditures of maternal health funds in Kano State.
“Firstly, it is envisaged that this project will bring about policy changes in the area of opening up financial transactions relating to maternal health projects and inputs in Kano State.