From: MUKHTAR YAHAYA SHEHU
The Drugs Revolving Funds (DRF) scheme being operated in Kano state has been described as one of the essential components in the health sector.
The Commissioner for Health, Dr. Abubakar Labaran Yusuf, dropped the hint while while addressing the delegation from Ebonyi state that was in Kano on a study tour on DRF.
In a statement signed by the information officer state Ministry for Health Ibrahim Abdullahi said delegation includes Ebonyi Commissioner of Health Dr. Ekuma Moses, his counterpart of Finance Dr. Leonard Uguru, Director Medical Services Dr. Charles Alike, Director Planning, Research and Statistics Mrs. Ugwoke Rotina Adanna, Director Pharmaceutical Services Pharm. Dr. Moses Okoro and host of others.
Dr. Labaran recalled that during his stewardship as the health commissioner of Kano state in the second tenure of Engr. Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso, Kano state government has never injected a dime into the DRF and delightedly stated that there was never out of stock throughout the four years of the government because the scheme is well planning and systematically implemented.
The Commissioner went on to say that one of the advantages of the DRF, apart from the availability and authenticity of the drugs the scheme assured of, is the assurance of cheapness of the drugs to the patient compared buying outside the hospital.
He maintained that the system helps fighting counterfeit drugs because the source of the drugs is known, advising the delegation to adopt everything they are going to learn about the DRF in Kano state.
“This is because the procedures upon which the DRF is established in Kano state are very rigorous. Though it is foreign buy nature, yet it is well domesticated in the state.
“One thing I avoid as a Commissioner is the interference into the procedure. In as much as you are going to interfere, the DRF will collapse because drugs business is very sensitive.
“This is one of the secrets that make the DRF in Kano to last18 years in operation. I can assure you our DRF scheme is the only that survived in the country. Therefore, if you want DRF to survive don’t ever put your hands on it.
“Once you allow it to survive, I am sure you will get all the advantages we are talking about the scheme. I can say without any fear of contradiction that anybody who wants to learn the secret of the DRF must come to us”, Dr. Labaran asserted.
He assured them that they will get full information about the DRF by the time they have sessions with various stakeholders of the scheme, thanking them for coming to Kano and assured them of the peaceful stay.
Highlighting the evolvement of DRF scheme in Kano state, the Director Pharmaceutical Services of the State Ministry of Health, Pharm. Kamilu Mudi Salisu, explained that in years back, there was initiation by the Kano state government for giving free drugs to patients, further explaining that various systems and schemes were introduced to sustain the program including BAMAKO initiative and PTF drugs but failed due to various circumstances.
The Director went on to say that in seeing the structure Kano state has, in 2005 the DFID chipped in with a view to support the state in strengthening the DRF and vowed to do trainings and provide drugs and equipments whereas government will renovate facilities where the DRF will take place especially the pharmaceutical departments and provide with stores, cooling systems, documentation tools.
He explained that it took two years making preparations including setting up state DRF committee to oversee its activities, stakeholder and DRF operators training, etc in 2007, pointing out that the DRF in Kano state started with a pilot of 25 health facilities; 10 secondary health facilities and 15 health centres in order to see challenges that may come up with a view to mitigate them.
Pharm. Kamilu informed the delegation that now Kano state is operating DRF scheme in 845 health facilities at both primary and secondary level out of the 1,200 health facilities in the state with Hospitals Management Board overseeing DRF in secondary facilities and Primary Healthcare Management Board supervises the scheme at primary health centres.
Speaking, the leader of the delegation, who is also the Commissioner of Health of Ebonyi state, Dr. Ekuma Moses, stated that they were at Kano state on study tour on DRF.
He said they came on the instruction of Ebonyi state Governor Francis Nwifuru to interact with custodians of the DRF in Kano and see all the ingredients that led to the success of the scheme in the state.
He pointed out that their Governor is willing to develop the health sector of Ebonyi state and they are told that Kano is a pacesetter in DRF operation in the whole country, stressing that they come to learn from Kano in their planning to implement the DRF in their state so as to get it right.
Dr. Moses, on behalf of the delegation, thanked Dr. Abubakar Labaran Yusuf and DRF stakeholders for a warm reception extended to them.