Government re-launches Jonathan’s Saving One Million Lives scheme
• Minister disburses funds to states, as World Bank backs scheme with N140billion
The Federal Government has launched the Programme for Results (PforR) to support the Saving One Million Lives (SOML) initiative of former President Goodluck Jonathan, which he launched in October 2012.
The programme seeks to change the way health business is done, focusing on results and governance and will be financed by the World Bank to the tune of $500 million for 4 years.
Government yesterday commenced disbursement of the fund to the states based on performance. The fund is given to the states as grant and followed request from the Federal Government.
Minister of Health, Prof Isaac Adewole, who performed the disbursement of the funds in Abuja stressed that states were the greatest beneficiaries of the programme, receiving up to 82 percent of the total credit sum as incentive for improved performance under the various disbursements like indicators (DLIs).
States get rewarded for improvements in performance from their own baseline. States in each geopolitical zone are also ranked according to their performances and the best performing state ‘zonal champion’ received an additional bonus.
Also, the best performing state in the country’s ‘national champion’ received an additional performance bonus. Any state that does not attain improvement at the end of year does not receive any funds.
Adewole explained that Saving one Million Lives Program for Results aims to deliver high impact, evidence based, cost effective health interventions based on what he described as 6 pillars.
He explained the 6 pillars as maternal, Newborn and Child health; childhood essential medicines and increasing treatment of important diseases; improving child nutrition; immunisation; malaria control; and the elimination of mother to child transmission of HIV.
The minister said, “Our country accounts for an estimated 14 per cent of maternal deaths worldwide with a maternal mortality of 128 per 1000 live births. The current administration is resolute to reverse these shameful national health indices by promoting innovative mechanisms that will promote equitable and qualitative healthcare.
“Our vision is to reduce maternal mortality ratio to less than 100 per 100,000 lives births; reduce infant mortality rate to less than 10 per 1000 live births and child mortality rate to less than 25 per 1000 live births by 2020. I am confident that these are realistic targets,” Adewole stressed.
Despite the progress in some of the key health status indicators, he admitted that the pace of improvement was insufficient and poses a major developmental challenge.