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Enugu government boosts free child, maternal health scheme

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The Enugu State government has approved a monthly contribution of N8.5 million as counterpart funding for its Free Maternal and Child Health Programme for pregnant women and children under the age of five.

Commissioner for Health, Fintan Ekochi, explained that the state government was funding the programme, which has been in existence since the last government, through monthly contributions in collaboration with local councils.

He disclosed after a meeting of state council in Enugu that the state government decided to provide additional N8.5 million monthly to augment the contributions of the 17 local councils, which also contribute N8.5 million, amounting to N17 million.

He described the council’s N8.5 million approval as “one of the greatest approvals in the history of Enugu State,” adding that it would assist young mothers, who could not afford better healthcare services during pregnancy.

“It would also help children in the rural areas who are under five years old with a lot of childhood health challenges,” he added.

He stated that the fund was a prelude to better things ahead in the state’s primary healthcare delivery system.

Ekochin also said the programme implementation would come in three phases including the establishment of flagship primary health centres in the three senatorial districts, while the second and third phases would focus on having one and two healthcare centres in 10 local councils.

“Now with the primary healthcare centres repositioned, you can imagine the ease and comfort with which pregnant women and children under five years will have in accessing free maternal and child health programme,” he noted.

He also said that given the mandate by the Federal Ministry of Health to set up a National Steering Committee to evaluate the implementation of the Regional Disease Surveillance (REDIS) Project, the state was selected to represent the Southeast zone in the committee.

He added that the Nursing and Midwifery Council had accredited the School of Basic Midwifery, Awgu in Awgu Local Council and School of Nursing and Midwifery of the Bishop Shanahan Hospital in Nsukka.


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Fintan Ekochi
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