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Buhari demands reports from Ehanire on $890m grant

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Osagie Ehanire. Photo: TWITTER/FMOHNIGERIA

Minister explains choice of FCT as NEMSAS pilot state
President Muhammadu Buhari has directed the Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire, to ensure effective utilisation of Global Fund’s $890 million health grant over the next three years.

The grant is in support of the country’s fight against the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV)/Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS), Tuberculosis (TB) and malaria.

Buhari issued the directive at the virtual launch of the grant for 2021 to 2023, which will also support the establishment of resilient and sustainable systems for health in the country.

“Let me also emphasise that this administration has zero tolerance for corruption and inefficient use of resources. In this regard, I hereby direct the minister of health to set up an accountability framework, to monitor the use of this fund and provide periodic performance reports to my office,” he said.

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The President, who assured donor agencies and development partners of judicious use of the grant, said the funding would complement investments in the health sector, help curb new infections, and reduce HIV-AIDS, TB and malaria-related morbidity and mortality.

“It is my wish that in the next three years, these three diseases are taken much further down the path of elimination,” he said.

The President also applauded the Global Fund for its contribution of $51 million during the early stages of Nigeria’s response to the Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19), to procure Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), test kits and scale up diagnostic capacity.

THE minister has explained why the Federal Government chose the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja, as the pilot state for the implementation of the National Emergency Medical Service and Ambulance System (NEMSAS).

While leading NEMSAS Working Group on a visit to the FCT Minister in Abuja yesterday, Ehanire disclosed that the FCT was selected due to the availability of competent leadership, pre-hospital and in-hospital emergency services as well as adequate monitoring and evaluation environment.

His words: “We feel that the FCT has a very healthy environment to pilot the scheme with a strong and competent leadership that we can speak to and work with, leadership in the political and medical spaces.

There is a well laid down structure in the FCT and we think this is the best place to start.”

Accordingly, the minister said that the Association of General Private Medical Practitioners and the Guild of Medical Directors have already been engaged in line with the extant laws, more so that 60 to 70 per cent of medical services in the country were usually provided by the private sector.

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