US inaugurates $225 million health programme in Nigeria

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U. S. Agency for International Development (USAID) has launched a 225 million dollars new flagship health activity to help five states in Nigeria improve access to primary healthcare services.

The embassy in a statement on Tuesday in Abuja said that the five years Integrated Health Programme (IHP) would also help improve essential commodities and increase demand for services of those states

The mission said that IHP inaugurated on Tuesday in Abuja would be implemented in Bauchi, Kebbi and Sokoto, with two more states to be added soon.

“IHP will contribute to revitalising primary healthcare by helping the state health systems upgrade clinics and employ an integrated model for a full complement of high-quality round-the-clock health services in every ward.

“IHP will bring quality basic healthcare closer to the people and support Nigeria to achieve universal health coverage,” it quoted USAID Mission Director Stephen Haykin as saying at the launch.

According to him, providing the population, a fighting chance to grow up healthy and reach its potential is critical for Nigeria to build its future on a strong, hardy foundation for the generations to come.

Mr Haykin said that the programme would be implemented by Palladium International with a coalition of international and national nongovernmental organisations in partnership with the states.

He said that IHP would contribute to reducing preventable deaths of mothers and children under the age of five.

“The activity will help these states address direct and underlying causes of maternal and child mortality and assist them to increase their revenues for health to boost the capacity of primary health care delivery,” he said.

“Bauchi, Kebbi, and Sokoto states all struggle to maintain good health indicators for mothers and children.

According to the recently released 2018 National Demographic and Health Survey, outcomes for basic health indices in the three states remain below the national average despite some positive trends in health outcomes over the past five years.

The programme, he said would help in provision of quality maternity and newborn care in health facilities, routine immunization, early diagnosis and timely treatment of maternal and neonatal complications, malaria, diarrhea, and pneumonia

According to him, primary healthcare centres and secondary hospitals supported by IHP will improve the health of mothers and children, reducing tragic and unnecessary deaths from preventable disease.

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