Martins Ifijeh in Abuja

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has said that the federal government would commence the disbursement of the Basic Healthcare Provisions Fund (BHCPF) in August.

Speaking on Friday at the 3rd THISDAY Healthcare Policy Dialogue in Abuja, Vice President Osinbajo said with the disbursement, Primary Healthcare Centres (PHC) will be better equipped across the country, maternal and child health will be reduced, children will no longer die from vaccine preventable diseases, and the country’s health indices will improve generally.

“I will encourage every state to make good use of the funds. States without results will miss out in further disbursements, ” he said while declaring the summit open.

The federal government in 2017 disbursed $1.5m to each state of the federation for the Saving One Million Lives Programmes for Results (SOMLPforR)

According to the VP, “for the federal government to achieve Universal Health Coverage by 2030, we designed the SOMLPforR as part of efforts to incentivise states to enable us reward their performance. And we appreciate those that have distinguished themselves in the provision of healthcare to their people,

“Considering the importance of this fund, we will commence the disbursement from August. Our administration have seen this as a key deliverable which we must address.”

He said the government would be transparent in the transfer of the funds down to the last area where it is needed, adding that it will be disbursed swiftly across the country.

“I am therefore excited about the possibility of the programme. I will like our development partners to support the programme,” he added.

He also noted that as part of federal government’s effort to address poverty, malnutrition and health issues, it was presently giving one meal a day to 8.2 million children in 24 states.

“We believe this feeding programme will not only address malnutrition, but will increase school attendance.”

He commended the Chairman of THISDAY/ARISE Media Group, Mr. Nduka Obaigbena, for making his platform to address pertinent issues in the health sector, adding that for a media house to drive this was unprecedented.

The high powered summit brings under one roof healthcare stakeholders, development partners and policy makers to chat a way forward for the provision of basic healthcare to all states of the federation.