USAID Invests $19m in Training of Health Workers in Nigeria

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By Michael Olugbode

The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) has set aside $19 million to train 100,000 health workers in some parts of Nigeria.

The training, which would be on for the next five year, have Bauchi, Sokoto, Kebbi, and Ebonyi States, as well as the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) as beneficiaries.

According to a statement from USAID on Wednesday, the USAID Health Office Director, Paul McDermott, and key government health sector officials participated in a launch of a new USAID funded activity to improve the quality of health worker training in Nigeria.

The statement said the five-year, $19 million Health Workforce Management activity will support the establishment of a cost-effective, well-trained and motivated health workforce in targeted rural and remote areas of Bauchi, Sokoto, Kebbi and Ebonyi States, as well as the FCT.

The statement quoted McDermott to have said at the virtual launch: “We are investing in the health workforce because strong and capable human resources for health improve health outcomes and save lives.

“The activity will support efforts to address the persistent healthcare worker challenges in Nigeria.”

The statement said the Health Workforce Management will strengthen human resources, improve governance of the health workforce, and develop interventions to improve health worker retention.

It said over the next five years, the activity is expected to produce a cadre of 100,000 new health workers competent to respond to current and future health needs of the populations in the targeted states.

The Health Workforce Management will train these primary health care workers to anchor a more proficient workforce to respond to health needs, improve the distribution and skill mix of front-line workers, and strengthen training institutions to adopt and apply more effective approaches to human resources.

The Director of Primary Health Care Services Development at the National Primary Healthcare Development Agency, Dr. Usman Adamu, said: “This initiative could not have come at a better time. It will be most beneficial to address maldistribution of health workers by producing the appropriate skill mix of front-line health workers at the primary care level. We look forward to positive change and assure USAID of our collaboration and support all the way.”

The statement disclosed that the activity will be implemented by Banyan Global in collaboration with Abt Associates, Institute for Healthcare Improvement and Solina Health.

It is part of USAID’s integrated package of activities valued at $793 million that is focused on integrating health service delivery at the primary level, creating demand for health services, and strengthening supply chain management at the sub-national level.