The Hon. Minister of Health, Professor Isaac Adewole has said that the Federal government would disburse 1.6 million USD from the Saving One Million Lives(SOML) counterpart fund to Kogi State government as ‘’an incentive to do more’’ towards improving healthcare delivery in the state. The government of Kogi state’s qualification for the extra grant was as a result of the state’s performance and judicious expenditure of the previous 1.5m USD granted the state, last year.
The Minister stated this at the Flag-off ceremony of ‘’Health Care Plus’’ intervention programme and the Unveiling of Delivery Kit, Post-Partum Haemorrhage pack and Hypertensive pack, held yesterday, in Lokoja. Adewole called on other State governments to emulate the the kogi state government’s commitment by investing in health programmes that touch their citizens’ lives and making prompt release of their counterpart funding towards federal government programmes like SOML. In his speech, Professor Adewole commended the Executive Governor of Kogi State, Alhaji Yahaya Bello for the impressive response, initiative and commitment towards the improvement of the well-being of the people of Kogi state, as demonstrated through the investments and several rehabilitation projects recorded in the health sector across the State. On Federal government’s effort in combatting Lassa fever, Adewole hinted that the FG would commence immunization against Lassa fever in kogi, kwara, and Zamfara as pilot states. The target, Adewole said, was to immunise 250 million people and the whole country in the next couple of years. To this end, the Minister advised, “Anybody with fever must be taken to have Lassa fever until proven otherwise.
It is treatable if diagnosed early. The public must stop drying food stuff on the ground where rats can have access to and health care givers must take protective measures seriously’’ the Minister stressed. In his response, Governor Bello, said the ‘Health care Plus’ project,Theme: Building a strong Political Will to end preventable Maternal and Newborn Deaths in a dispensation was launched to further stem the tide of maternal and child mortality in Kogi state because of the benefit the citizens stood to gain. The Governor added that the project was also a fulfilment of the pledge made to the people when he came into office two years ago. He therefore explained that the launching was an opportunity to review government activities in the health sector with a view to improving on its performance. Governor Bello pledged not to rest on his oars until every citizen had access to good health delivery.
Also speaking, the Commissioner of Health, Dr. Saka Haruna, said thatHealth care Plus was a programme, targeted at responding to the needs of pregnant women from low socio-economic status at the level of primary health care as beneficiaries of free healthcare services from the day they conceive till one month after delivery. He further explained that the package would create a niche for itself in Nigeria as it boasted of many positive uniqueness and peculiarities when compared with similar projects across the country. Dr. Haruna also commended the Federal Ministry of Health for the formulation and implementation of policies that was steering the health sector to greater heights.
Mrs. Boade Akinola
Director, Media & Public Relations