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GIZ Lauds Northwest Special Fund For Health 

By Chris Mbunwe

The new Country Representative of the German Technical Cooperation, GIZ, Marc Ramaekers, has praised stakeholders of the Northwest Fund for Health Promotion, PIG-FUND, for democratically putting in place the Public Interest Group.
The Technical Advisor of GIZ made the appraisal, Saturday, December 7, in Bamenda, during the extraordinary General Assembly of the Northwest Special Fund.
Ramaekers said the Bamenda meeting was very important because it marked the effective birth of the highly awaited fund for health promotion with a Public Interest Group, PIG status. 
“We are here to set up organs meant for the running of the PIG-FUND, after a long and labourious journey,” said Ramaekers.
Most importantly, Ramaekers recalled the journey that started way back in December 2010, when the law on Public Interest Group was voted at the National Assembly and promulgated into law by the Head of State. 
The law set the framework of the agreement that would govern the Regional Fund for the Promotion of Health in the Northwest Region. 
In 2011, several activities for the drafting of a model agreement, acceptable by all parties, involved, were discussed and implemented. In 2012, the agreement had been approved and signed. In January 2013 the agreement was approved and ratified by the Prime
Minister and in December this year, the management tools took place.
Ramaekers outlined the objectives of the new Regional Fund to include the following: reinforcement of good governance, mobilise and manage resources for the financing of health activities, decentralisation and decongestion of health system, manage and distribute drugs and other pharmaceutical products on behalf of health establishments, development of health financing mechanisms, execute health promotional activities and participate in regional drug observatory.
He appealed to stakeholders to see the change between the old and the new structure not only as a change of legal form, but “it must be seen, far most, as an opportunity to improve on the quality of intervention beyond drug distribution and maintain the achievements.”
He said in addition to the management of essential drugs, they also have, amongst others, the mutual health organisation, hospital maintenance, support for the functioning of dialogue structures at the level of the objectives of accessibility and improvement of primary health care accessibility and quality.
As concerns the important role of dialogue structures and community participation, Ramaekers appealed for firmness and focus. 
He, however, regretted that he has reliable information that dialogue structures of the Northwest, supposedly the base, are “somehow in a state of lethargy” and the community participation in health activities is shared by a little minority of the community.
The GIZ officials stressed that in order to expand, next community participation objectives should be attained; healthcare quality at low cost accessible to a greater number and dialogue structures be more involved in the implementation of health activities or programmes at the level of health centres, health districts and the region.
Representing the Minister of Public Health, the Technical Adviser and Director of Cooperation, Emmanuel Maina Djoulde, said the creation of the special funds in the ten Regions is a concrete response of the Government to ensure good quality health care to the population.
The results of the elections that took centre stage were as follows: Chairman of the Management Committee, Sylvester Daki Francis; Vice Chair, Dr. Victor Ndiforchu; members: Prof. Pius Tih, Shaibo Isaka, Wilfred Shey, Dr. Pius Kuwoh, meanwhile, the Chairman of General Assembly; Northwest Governor, Vice- Cornelius Mtumbang;  Scrutinees GIZ; and Secretary, Haynes Bum Bungwa.
Next general assembly has been billed for Monday, December 16.

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