Dr. Ado Mohammed
From John Shiklam in Kaduna
The Executive Director and Chief Executive of the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA), Dr. Ado Mohammed has disclosed that the introduction of the Midwives service scheme has drastically reduced maternal mortality in the country.
Speaking in an interview with journalists after the launching of the 2013 edition of the scheme on Tuesday in Kaduna, Mohammed said that in the last three years, the NPHCD had recruited over 6,250 midwives which were deployed to 1500 health facilities in about 450 local government areas across the country.
According to him, there is zero maternal death in those locations where the midwives were deployed, adding that the system has improved primary health- care system in those areas.
“What this means is that the midwives service is working very well and we will continue to contribute towards Nigeria meeting the MDGs goals,” he said.
He explained that the objectives of the midwives scheme is to bridge the human resource gap that is obvious in the health sector, stressing that lack of adequate human resource was a major challenge in the sector.
“There is zero maternal death in those locations we have deployed midwives; we have seen an improvement in primary healthcare system in those areas.
“So what it means is that the midwives service is working very well and we will continue to contribute towards Nigeria meeting the MDGs goals.
“We have received local and global commendation for a programme that is doing very well” he said.
He said the NPHCDA had entered into some kind of memoranda of understanding with the states and local governments so that each of them is given certain obligations to contribute towards the success of the scheme.
According to him, the federal government provides the human resource for healthcare, the midwives in particular, while the states are expected to support and complement the efforts of the federal government by providing counterpart funding in terms of payment of allowances to midwives and also to provide accommodation for them.
“We expect that alternately at the end of the two years the states should be able to absolve the midwives and deploy them to health facilities.We are only supporting the states to discharge their obligation. So far a number of states have absolved these midwives,” Mohammed added.
According to him, through the Subsidy Reinvestment Programme and through the Midwives Service Scheme, the NPHCDA was partnering the states and local governments to ensure that primary healthcare centres are in a good condition.
He assured that adequate security measures had been taken to ensure the safety of health workers in the course of discharging their duties.
“The President has assured Nigerians that wherever health workers are, they will be protected in the course of discharging their duties to the nation and we have received assurance from the security chiefs that health workers would be protected,” he added.