Nigeria gets $21.5m fund to boost healthcare

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… as FG launches Basic healthcare Provision Fund

By Joyce Remi- Babayeju

Nigeria’s healthcare system received a boost yesterday as the Federal Government said it has pumped $55 billion into the Basic Health Care Provision Fund, BHCPF, just as the Bill and Millinda Gates Foundation donated $1.5 million into the purse with an additional $75 million to span the next five years and the World Bank’s gift of $20 million.

This was revealed yesterday in Abuja as the Federal Government launched the National Strategic Health Development Plan II, NSHDP, (2018 -2022) and rolled out the implementation of Basic Healthcare Provision Fund, BHCPF.

President Muhammadu Buhari who was represented by the Minister of Budget and Planning, Senator Udo Udoma who officially did the launching said that the documents is to commence the BHCPF and supervising the disbursement of Funds to high performing States under the Saving One Million Lives Programme for Results (SOML-Pfor R) in is necessary for achieving Universal Health Coverage.

Speaking on disbursement of the funds, the president gave the assurance that to ensure sustainability, there is a transparency and accountability mechanism put in place to ensure that there was no corruption in the use of the fund.

The first six states to benefit from the Basic Healthcare Provision Fund are Abia, Niger, Osun, Katsina, Yobe, Edo and FCT adding that “the focus is more on the people leaving in the rural areas and the vulnerable population in our society, such as women, children under five years of age and the elderly, Buhari emphasized.”

He said that the revitalized healthcare system was to ensure that quality healthcare services were delivered to majority of Nigerians irrespective of their education or social status in the country.

Minister of Health, Professor. Isaac Adewole said that the NSHDP II was designed to enable Federal and States government implement health policies in the country according to laid down procedure.

Adewole assured that implementation of the plan would greatly improve the Nigeria health system and also drastically reduce maternal mortality rate in the next five years.

According to him, the document which was approved on Wednesday 5th September 2018 by the Federal Executive Council had the overall goal of ensuring healthy lives and promoting the well-being of Nigeria populace.

The minister emphasized that through the Basic Healthcare Provision Fund, Nigerians would benefit from 52 healthcare service interventions in the hospitals practising the Basic Healthcare Provision Fund Programme, free of charge which would cover antenatal care, labor and Delivery care (including caesarian sections) and Emergency Obstetric and Neonatal care.

UNICEF Country Representative, Mohammed Fall commended the initiative and said that UNICEF would continue to help Nigeria in that direction.

He lamented that women and newborns still die from preventable disease in Nigeria and that the launch of the documents provides opportunity to reach every Nigerian with healthcare and achievement of Universal Health Coverage, UHC.

Speaking on behalf of the 36 State Governors, the Governor of Ekiti State, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, said the role of Governors in the implementation of healthcare progammes was crucial because Health was on the concurrent list.

Fayemi pledged faithful implementation of the BHPF programme and the judicious use of funds allocated for health services to ensure that Nigerians at the grassroot enjoyed quality healthcare as stipulated by the programme.

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