The Nigerian 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. Abdulaziz Mashi Abdullahi , said this at the Launching of the Integrated Health Project with the theme ‘’ Strengthening Primary Healthcare Services for Nigeria Mothers and Children’’, in Abuja, recently.
Mr. 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)’’
He 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.
He emphasized that ‘’ under the BHCPF, a PHC Centre in each Political Ward of the 36 States and FCT will be funded directly through the gateways (NPHCDA and 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 is our expectation that the IHP will leverage on this opportunity and other ongoing interventions for greater synergy in achieving the objectives of the project in the three supported states’’
To this end, Mr. Abdullahi said that ‘’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’’, he added.
He informed that the ‘’ the Federal Ministry of Health looks forward to sharing the success stories from the respective states as we impact positively on the lives of our people through provision of comprehensive quality healthcare services’’
In his opening remarks, the USAID , Nigeria Mission Director, Stephen M. Haykin said that ‘’ in five years, $225 Million Integrated Health Program (IHP) investment will be implemented in Bauchi, Kebbi and Sokoto ,with two more states to be added later. IHP 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 pointed out that IHP would bring quality basic health care closer to the people and support Nigeria towards achieving universal health coverage. He further said that ‘’ providing the population a fighting chance to grow up healthy and reach its potential is critical for Nigeria to build its future on a strong, hardy foundation for generations to come’’.
Responding on behalf of the benefitting states, the Kebbi State Governor, His Excellency, Alh. Atiku Bagudu, represented by his chief of Staff, Alh. Suleiman Argungu appreciated the Federal Government of Nigeria and USAID for choosing Sokoto, Kebbi and Bauchi states to benefit from the Programme.
Argungu said the maternal and child health was a priority within the framework of Universal Health Coverage adding that the intervention would give additional impetus to Primary Healthcare Centers, in Sokoto, Kebbi and Bauchi.
He assured that the benefitting States would do everything possible to promote the collaboration between the Federal Government of Nigeria and USAID.