The enrolment of clients for the Basic Health Care Provision Fund ("Huwe”) has commenced in Niger State.
Speaking at the ceremony, held yesterday, at the Airport Road Clinic, Minna, Niger State, the Minister of Health, Professor Isaac Adewole said that rolling out the programme was the climax of all government's efforts geared towards improving access to quality and affordable healthcare to all Nigerians.
He also stated that implementing the programme would improve the Nigeria's health indicators, nutrition, fight infant and child mortality, guarantee adequate and sustainable financing of basic minimum package of primary health care services in the Country.
The Minister therefore commended the Executive Governor of Niger State, His Excellency Governor Abubakar Sani Bello and "the good people of Niger State for witnessing the dawn of a new era on health care delivery in the Country".
Philosophically, Adewole said 'I see a new Nigeria where every pregnant woman is assured of being alive to see a live baby, every child born is assured of
a long healthy life and every one of us will age gracefully'
In his address, Governor Bello, represented by the Deputy Governor of Niger State, Alhaji Ahmed Mohammed Kesto, said that kick starting the BHCPF enrolment in Niger State had proven that FG had matched her promises with actions.
He added that it further demonstrated government's resolve to do things differently to achieve better results.
Bello pledged to continuously complement FG's efforts while appreciating the Minister of Health for his commitment to improving the health of Nigerians and taking Niger State health sector to greater heights.
Welcoming guests to the occasion earlier, the Commissioner of Health, Niger State, Dr. Mustapha Mohammed Jibrin described the event as an important milestone in the quest for Universal Health Coverage(UHC) as envisioned by the National Health Act.
Dr. Jibrin said he was elated because Niger State stood as one of the three Pioneer States to benefit from the initiative which had the potential to radically transform how health care services were delivered and funded in the Country.
He informed that apart from the BHCPF enrolment, the State was also unveiling critical Primary Health Care(PHC) equipment(SDD refrigerators, Hilux vans and motorcycles). These, he said, were targeted at strengthening routine immunization services as well as monitoring and supporting supervision of health sector programmes and projects in hard to reach areas in the State.
With Niger State, having the largest land mass and the highest number of hard to reach communities in the federation, the importance of the equipment could not be over emphasised, Dr. Jibril explained.
The Chairman, Niger State Council of Traditional Rulers, the Etsu Nupe, Alhaji (Dr.) Yahaya Abubakar, represented by Wambai Nupe, Engineer Abdullahi Nnagi, while appreciating the Federal government for implementing the programme in Niger, appealed for ambulances to be made available for the conveyance of Health commodities to where they were needed.
The Overseeing Director, National Health Insurance Scheme, Mr. Ben omogo, the Representatives of the Executive Secretary, National Primary Health Care Development Agency of Health, the WHO, Bill and Melinda Gates foundation, Pharmacists Foundations, HERFON and other health sector development partners gave good will messages at the occasion.