FG to borrow $40m for health services
•Votes $20m for reproductive issues in N’East
•Begins measles campaign today
•Dangote tasks Kano on probe of polio funds
The Federal Government is finalising arrangement to access $40million from the Global Financing Facility for every woman and child (GFF). Half of the sum is to address reproductive, maternal, newborn, child and adolescent health (RMNCAH) issues in the North East.
Senior Health Specialist at the World Bank, Dr Olowole Odutolu who disclosed this in Abuja, explained that the $20 million was already programmed as a grant within the additional financing for the Nigeria State Health Investment Project (IDA of $125million) for the North East.
He noted that government had defined a platform to actively engage all partners, including the civil society and private sector. According to him, the GFF provides a roadmap for countries to develop and monitor the implementation of an RMNCAH platform for ending preventable deaths and improving the health of women, children and adolescents .
Also speaking, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo who expressed government’s commitment to encouraging more private sector participation in the health sector, observed that over 60 per cent of the healthcare needs of the country were provided by the sector.
Meabnwhile, the nation, will today, begin a two-week mass vaccination campaign to protect more than four million children against measles outbreak in the conflict-ridden region.
The programme, championed by the Federal Ministry of Health (FMoH) through the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA) with support from the World Health Organisation (WHO), United States Centre for Disease Control (CDC) and the United Nation Children Fund (UNICEF), targets all children aged six months to 10 years in accessible areas in Borno, Yobe and Adamawa states.
Also yesterday, the Chairman of Dangote Foundation, Aliko Dangote, called on the Kano government to audit funds released to state for polio immunisation last year to ensure accountability.
He gave the charge during a video conference involving co-chair of Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Bill Gates, Governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje and his Kaduna counterpart, Nasir El-Rufai, officials of the National Primary Health Care Development Agency and development partners in Kano.
In a related development, United Nations Under-Secretary and Executive Director of United Nations Population Funds (UNFPA), Dr. Babatunde Osotimehin, stressed that it was vital to protect sexual reproductive health rights of women and girls in crisis situations like Boko Haram insurgency that claimed several and property in the region.
Osotimehin spoke in Maiduguri during a courtesy visit to Governor Kashim Shettima at the Government House to assess the state of Internally displaced persons (IDPs) in the state.