Ondo, Adamawa, Nasarawa get N27bn to improve health delivery

By The Citizen
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The Federal government has been offered $170 million (about N27bn) credit  to facilitate the attainment of health equipment in the Millennium Development Goals.

The credit which was jointly granted by World Bank, United Kingdom Department for International Development and the Government of Norway would be given to Ondo, Adamawa and Nasarawa States as pilot for Nigeria State Health Investment Project, an initiative expected to boost health financing, programming and administration across the states of the federation.

Ondo state is said to be the best performing state in terms of Health Care Delivery in Nigeria while the World Health Organization uses the state as model for Nigeria.

The World Bank Country Representative, Marie-Francoise Marie-Nelly, in her speech during the inauguration of NSHIP on Thursday in Abuja, said the project was aimed at increasing coverage of essential health services and to strengthen the health system through multiple result-based approaches.

The project is anchored at the National Primary HealthCare Development Agency while the Federal Ministry of Health performs the steering role.

Marie said, 'Specifically, the project aims to increase the delivery and utilization of high impact maternal, child, reproductive and

disease control health interventions particularly among the poor and to improve the quality of care provided in publicly-financed health facilities within Adamawa, Nasarawa and Ondo States.'

She stated that although the project was approved by the global bank in 2012, it did not take off until late last year, a development, she said enabled the executors of the project to conduct adequate study of health situations in the pilot states.

The World Bank boss said, 'Since then, the pre-pilot has been demonstrating remarkable performance. The average coverage of

institutional delivery in the pre-pilot LGAs increased from 11 percent in December 2011 to 40 percent in September 2013.

'Completely vaccinated children increased from 7 percent to 43 percent. Other indicators also show similar increase. Quality scores of health facilities also increased from 21 percent to 81 per cent in Nasarawa state and from 25 percent to 66 percent in Adamawa state.'

In his speech at the event, the Minister of Health, Prof. Onyebuchi Chukwu, stated that the project will run for five years and  expected to benefit 9.4 million people in the pilot states.

He said, 'The NSHIP is a performance-based scheme. The whole essence is to see whether deploying the whole mechanism of rewarding performance in terms of financing will encourage them and ensure better outcome in the health sector. We are piloting in three states, using money that are borrowed with concessional rates from the International Development Association, which actually means borrowing from the World Bank to do it.  Punch