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Health News of Tuesday, 24 January 2023


Kwara launches intervention fund programme for primary healthcare centres

Kwara governor and other stakeholders at the launch of the intervention fund for PHCs Kwara governor and other stakeholders at the launch of the intervention fund for PHCs

The Kwara State Government has launched an intervention funding programme for the Primary Healthcare Centres (PHCs) in the state.

The programme, which is tagged: “Immunization Plus and Malaria Process by Accelerating and Transparency (IMPACT),” is funded by the World Bank with a counterpart funding of $100,000 by the state government.

According to a statement issued on Tuesday by the government and signed by the Chief Press Secretary to Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq, Rafiu Ajakaye, each of the beneficiary PHCs is awarded N4.6m to upgrade primary healthcare infrastructure.

The event, which was held in Ilorin, Kwara State capital on Monday, was attended by relevant stakeholders including representatives of the World Health Organisation (WHO), the governor and his deputy, Mr AbdulRahman and Kayode Alabi respectively, other cabinet members, Kwara State Coordinator of the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA), Hanifa Hamza, and traditional rulers.

WHO’s commendation

Speaking at the flag-off, the representative of the World Health Organisation, Walter Mulombo, commended the government for what he described as its strategic partnerships and investment in primary healthcare programmes to deliver quality healthcare services to the citizens.

Mr Mulombo, who was represented by the North Central Coordinator for WHO, Asma’l Kabir, said Kwara was able to have the programme in place because of the leadership commitment of the governor.

“I want to, on behalf of the representative of WHO, commend and congratulate the Kwara State Government for establishing the IMPACT project to improve access to universal health coverage,” she said.

She thanked the governor for providing the enabling grounds for the WHO to deliver on its 2023 goals, which she said was meant to cover at least 3 billion people worldwide.

Mrs Kabir said: “WHO’s 2023 goal is a global goal that has the 3 billion lives goal. The first is that WHO intends to reach 1 billion people to have access to universal health coverage. Of course, this is part of the way in which the WHO appreciated Kwara State.

“Another 1 billion people are going to become healthier. And 1 billion more people will get protected from health emergencies. This is in direct alignment with what the Kwara State Government has been doing.”

She called on the implementing agency to ensure that the project is effectively handled to achieve the set objectives.

Governor, others speak

On his part, the governor said the programme underscores his administration’s focus to ensure universal health coverage for an average “Kwaran.”

He said: “I welcome you all to this important occasion which signals another milestone in the life of our administration. One of the cardinal goals of our administration is to ensure universal health coverage for all Kwarans, irrespective of their location. This has guided all the strategic interventions we have made in the health sector.

“One of the early commitments our administration made is the Expression of Interest in the IMPACT Project by meeting all the necessary requirements, including the payment of $100,000 counterpart fund.

“The idea is to enable our Primary Health Care Centres to have some level of financial autonomy and the capacity to optimally deliver basic health care services to the people.

“This (programme) is a continuation of the legacies of our administration. We have consistently been investing in the health sector, including the primary healthcare system through renovation or construction of health facilities in several locations in the state, recruitment of all cadres of health workers. We have equipped many of our health facilities with equipment this state never had before. We will not relent, especially now that the results have been quite impressive.”

Also speaking, the state’s Commissioner for Health, Raji Razaq, said the health sector under the present administration has been transformed to meet the needs of the populace, commending the governor for his leadership qualities.

The Executive Secretary of the Kwara State Primary Healthcare Development Agency, Nusirat Elelu, said the administration has repositioned the health sector through prompt payments of counterpart funds, adequate investments in basic infrastructure, prompt payment of salaries of health workers, and their promotion, among other incentives that enable the state to stand shoulder high on health issues in the country.

She said the agency will ensure that the resources are utilised in line with the necessary guidelines.

The representative of NPHCDA, Mrs Hamza, also urged the state to ensure diligence and accountability, saying the two qualities will actually pay back.