Onyebuchi Ezeigbo in Abuja
The federal government in collaboration with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) has launched the Integration Health Project (IHP), aimed at strengthening the health systems, increasing access to and improving quality of Primary health care services across the country.
The Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Health, Mr. AbdulazizMashi Abdullahi, , said this at the launch of the IHP with the theme ‘’ Strengthening Primary Healthcare Services for Nigeria Mothers and Children.’’
Abdullahi noted that ‘’the IHP has come at a very auspicious time when the Federal Government is implementing the Basic HealthCare Provision Fund (BHCPF) as part of our journey towards Universal Health Coverage (UHC)’’
A statement by the Ministry’s Director, Media and Public Relations, Mrs. Boade Akinola, pointed out that the BHCPF was in fulfillment of the provision of the National Health Act for sustainable financing of our PHC system and emergency services.
The statement quoted Abudulahi as saying that ‘’under the BHCPF, a PHC centre in each political ward of the 36 states and FCT will be funded directly through the gateways – National Primary Healthcare Development Agency (NPHCDA) and National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) to take care of the basic health services for every member of the ward covering treatment of malaria, respiratory tract infections treatment and diarrheal diseases management in children, routine immunization, antenatal and childbirth services for pregnant women, among others’’.
The Permanent Secretary further said that it was government’s expectation that the IHP will leverage on the opportunity and other ongoing interventions for greater synergy in achieving the objectives of the project in the three supported states.
‘’This is indeed an enabler for the rapid transformation of the reproductive ,maternal, Newborn, Child and Adolescent Health plus Nutrition (RMNCAH+N) situation in the Northwest and Northeast Geo-Political Zones which the States represent,” Abdullahi said.
In his remarks, the USAID, Nigeria Mission Director,Stephen M. Haykin said that the five-year Integrated Health Program (IHP), costing $225 million will be implemented in Bauchi, Kebbi and Sokoto with two more states to be added later.
According to Abdullahi, the IHP progamme will contribute to revitalizing primary health care by helping the state health systems upgrade clinics and employ an integrated model for full complement of high –quality round the clock health services in every ward’’.
He also pointed out that IHP would bring quality basic health care closer to the people and support Nigeria towards achieving universal health coverage.
The Kebbi State Governor, Atiku Bagudu, who was represented by his chief of Staff, Alhaji. Suleiman Argungu, expressed appreciation to the federal government and USAID for choosing Sokoto, Kebbi and Bauchi states to benefit from the Programme.