By Tobias Lengnan Dapam
Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Adewole, has announced that Federal Ministry of Health had commenced disbursement of 2018 funds to states according to states earnings as well as the advancement of $1m to all states.
The minister in a statement issued yesterday by Boade Akinola, the Director, Media and Public Relations in the ministry, said it was to be followed by payment for Disbursement linked Indicator 5 (DL15) to all deserving States.
It said the Minister made this known during the 7th Steering Committee Summit for SOML-PforR held recently in Kano, on the side-line of the 61st National Council on Health.
Presiding over the programme, Adewole assured that states lagging behind would be given technical assistance in form of Programme Support Unit (PSU) with the view of improving their capacity and utilization of the key SOML-PforR indicators.
He called on all State commissioners to tackle the challenges associated with user fees. In his words ‘’Out – of- pocket expenditure to access health services remains a major barrier to timely health interventions which often cause a catastrophic outcome”.
He therefore stressed that States should begin to initiate healthcare financing mechanism that would support prompt access to timely intervention; ‘’if we are to make a ‘’big-bang’’ in our quest to achieve Universal Health Coverage in Nigeria’’.
On Data collection, the Minister reaffirmed that the Federal Government, through the Federal Ministry of Health was strongly committed to strengthening data collection and utilization which was an essential aspect of SOML-PforR.
He revealed that the Ministry had lived up to that commitment by the successful conduct of SMART (Standardized Monitoring and Assessment of Relief and Transitions) Survey, National Health Facility Survey (NHFS) and Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey (MICS).
In view of this, Professor Adewole stated that the 2018 SMART survey had been successfully conducted and the preliminary results were available.
He charged the gathering to continually peruse those surveys and look inwards to identify weaknesses and bottlenecks to the delivery of good quality and high impact health services, with the aim of working better to strengthen the system. The Minister also encouraged States to set up their State Bureau of Statistics to ensure comprehensive data collection, collation and analysis.
On the Review of Guidelines of Primary Health Care Under One Roof, Adewole emphasised that healthcare delivery would be more effective if all health programmes could be integrated with Primary Health Care instead of being ran as vertical programmes.