By Stanley Onyekwere
As part of strategic measures to ensure efficient healthcare delivery to residents of Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), a total of N2.6 billion Naira is expected to be expended in the sector.
Making this disclosure, the FCT Minister of State, Dr. Ramatu Tijjani Aliyu, while giving a breakdown of the figure as contained in the 2020 budget, said over N800 million has been provided for Primary Health Care (PHC) leadership, governance and infrastructure upgrade, aimed at PHCs in the Territory.
Aliyu added that over N600 million for human resources for health, while over N700 milllion for essential medicines, immunization, vaccines and technology.
She revealed that other areas covered by the 2020 budget include N500 million provision made for reproductive health, integrated management of childhood illnesses and nutrition.
According to her, the sources of funding include the FCT Appropriation Act, 2020, the Saving One Million Lives Program for Results and the United Nations Development Assistance Framework (UNDAF).
The Minister spoke during the official Flagg off of the National Integrated Mobile Outreach Programme (I-MOP) by the Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, in Bwari Area Council of the Territory.
She noted that the reinvigorated FCT Health Insurance Scheme, has placed the administration on the path of achieving the Universal Health Coverage, stressing that the administration with partners, including benefitting communities, has taken the challenge of providing to residents, particularly women and children in most need, good quality, high impact primary health care services including immunization and nutrition activities.
“Recently, a total N37,293,000 was disbursed to 62 PHC facilities with each PHC facility per ward in the FCT receiving a total N601,500 in the Direct Facility Funding under the Basic Health Care Provision Fund (BHCPF),” she recalled.
She affirmed that despite challenges facing the primary healthcare sector, specific findings in the report of the 2018 National Demographic and Health Survey (2018 NDHS), shows that FCT performed well and better than most states in the north central zone with some figures better than the zonal and national averages.
Furthermore, the Minister assured continued to support all programmes and activities geared towards improving the quality of lives and health outcomes of all residents, particularly women and children, adding that working with development partners access would be expanded to the underserved communities with optimal services uptake and utilization through the activities of community managerial system for Primary Health Care in FCT.
According to her, “In coverage of fully immunized children, FCT recorded 49.6 percent which is above the National average of 31 percent and, Modern Family Planning Prevalence at 20 percent against National 12 percent, Attendance at Ante Natal Care 88 percent against National 67 percent, Skilled birth attendance in the facility at 63 percent against National 39 percent”.
In his remarks, the Executive Director of National Primary Healthcare Development Agency, Dr. Faisal Shuaib, said the launch of the Integrated Mobile Outreach Programme was aimed at addressing some gaps in the number of children immunized with third dose pentavalent vaccine.
“The improvements in routine immunization are however not indicative that every child in Nigeria is protected with lifesaving vaccines. Significant equity gaps still exist in underserved communities leading to catastrophic disease outbreak and deaths in some instances,” he noted.
He assured that during the I-MOP, all public health facilities providing primary healthcare services would be opened and should be accessed by all members of the public, adding that the vaccines being provided are free, safe and effective.