By Olawale Ajimotokan
The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) will commit $45 million over the next five years towards improving primary healthcare services in the Federal Capital Territory.
The Mission Director USAID/Nigeria, Anne Patterson, disclosed this during the signing ceremony of Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between USAID/Nigeria and the FCT Administration to improve the health of residents in the territory.
The funds will be deployed through four existing health activities: the Integrated Health Programme, Breakthrough Action, Health Workforce Management, and the Global Health Supply Chain.
Patterson revealed that though the health status of the FCT population was fair when compared with other states of the federation, the FCT has seen an increase in the influx of people from other parts of the country.
She noted that this population increase was putting stress on the available public infrastructure, especially primary healthcare facilities, which are ill-equipped and under-resourced to address the increased health needs of the residents.
“The purpose of the MOU is to support the revitalisation of the FCT healthcare system to deliver quality, affordable, and sustainable preventive and primary healthcare services to the residents of FCT.
“With the signing of this MOU, USAID expects to apply global best practices and provide high-level technical expertise to assist the FCTA to meet their health improvement goals to operationalise their health plans and their reform strategies,” she said.
The MoU, specified that the 2018 Nigeria Demographic and Health Survey (NDHS) would serve as the baseline for overall health status improvement, while the 2023 Nigeria Demographic and Health Survey would serve as the end line survey.
It also acknowledges the federal government and FCT Department of Health and Human Services Secretariat policies, standards, and implementation guidelines for achieving health systems strengthening especially Primary Health Care Under One Roof (PHCUOR) and Primary Health Care (PHC) systems and service delivery.
The FCT Minister of State, Dr. Ramatu Tijjani Aliyu, signed on behalf of the FCT Administration. She acknowledged the tremendous role of USAID/Nigeria in the development of healthcare facilities in the Federal Capital Territory, stating that the administration would actively sustain and build on the cost-effective intervention of this partnership.