DIG Foundation, USAID-IHP Train WDCs, CSOs, Media on Budget Tracking

By Israel Mbam

To properly educate stakeholders, especially town Union Presidents, Ward Development Committees, Civil Society Organizations and some media Practitioners on budget process and budget tracking, an NGO; Development and Integrity Intervention Goal Foundation (DIG Foundation) in partnership with United States Agency for International Development (USAID) through her Integrated Health Program (IHP) has concluded a two day training across the three senatorial zones in Ebonyi State. 

The training focused on budget process, standard provisions of ward health system, national health promotion policy and basic healthcare provision fund as tools for holding leaders accountable to improve the health sector in Ebonyi State.

Addressing participants at one of the training venues,  the Advisor of the USAID-IHP Leadership and Governance, Mrs Chinyere Ikwuakor, said the training would help in boosting the health sector in Ebonyi state.

She said participants of the training were selected from various communities across the three senatorial zones.

"These program is to train community leaders and the participants on standard provisions of ward health system, national health promotion policy and basic health provision of fund. When they know all these, then can then hold advocacy with relevant stakeholders to ensure the basic health programs are captured in the budget of the State and Local Government level. "

The Advisor advised the participants to dig deeper into ways of improving the health system in the state, by getting involved in budget planning as part of their contribution to the development of the State health sector.

She also charged civil society groups and the media to be part and monitor the state budget planning until implementation, knowing that they are in the position to influence political officeholders to ensure that projects in the State and local government levels are being implemented accordingly and as when expected.

Ikwuakor equally called on  town union leaders to show more commitment in strengthening health facilities in their various communities, and expressed optimism that the training would be of great assistance to them in improving the system.

She adds that “the essence of the training is also to engage them in designing, implementing, planning as well as monitoring health projects in their domains.

“We want full community participation and citizens’ engagement in health issues to improve the system. The training will give them better understanding of their roles and make them know about things happening around them,” she concluded

On his part, the Director of DIG Foundation, Mr Oliver Aja Chima, advised the representatives of the various CSOs and Ward Development Committees to incorporate rurul dwellers in the training to ensure participation in development and implementation process of health budget in the state.

Mr. Ajah urged participants of the training to be true ambassadors of the Foundation by promoting its goals in their respective areas.

He explained that the Foundation aims at ensuring that budget for health sector is properly captured in the budget for effective primary health care service delivery.

Facilitators at the training including Dr. Emma Abah, Mr. Azubuike Mgbebu took participants on understanding budget basics, major components of budget, budget process and understanding ward health system. Others are gender responsive budget, budget tracking/analysis, people centred budget why and role of NGOs in BHCF among others.

Some of the  participants of the training, Mr. Andy Nwogha, Nkechi Oginyi, Sunday Nwonu and others thanked the organisers for their efforts in the  to promotion of improved health sector in Ebonyi State. They assured DIG and their partners of making positive use of the knowledge gained at the training to change the ugly narratives in the health system of Ebonyi state and beyond.

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