Sokoto gets $1.5m for Saving One Million Lives Programme

The Federal Government of Nigeria, has provided a $ 1.5million grant to Sokoto State Government under the Saving One Million Lives Programme.

The Permanent Secretary in the State’s Ministry of Health, Almustapha Othman who disclosed this said some of the major health indices to be focused upon under the programme include maternal child health and immunisation.

Othman said government was upgrading the nutrition facilities across the state to ensure it can deliver services to its people.

Nutrition is key in ensuring the successful implementation of the programme across the 23 local governments of the state. That is why the state government has concluded plans to upgrade the nutrition unit in the ministry to a full pledged Department, he said.

Nigeria’s Saving One Million Lives Initiative

Nigeria had in 2012 launched the Saving One Million Lives Initiative, to scale up access to essential primary health services and commodities.

Through the initiative, the Government pledged to save one million lives by 2015. Saving One Million Lives builds on growing international momentum behind child and maternal survival, including the UN Secretary-General’s Every Women, Every Child campaign; the June child survival Call to Action in Washington, DC; Committing to Child Survival: A Promise Renewed; the recommendations and implementation plan of the UN Commission on Life-saving Commodities for Women and Children delivered in September in New York; and the recently concluded Abuja conference on essential commodities.

The Commodities Commission recommendations and implementation plan � issued in New York on 26 September � stated that with increased supply and demand, as well as correct use of 13 specific commodities, more than six million lives of women and children across the world could be saved by 2015.

Nigeria accounts for 14 per cent of all annual maternal deaths worldwide, second only to India at 17 per cent.

Similarly, Nigeria accounts for 13 per cent of all global deaths of children under the age of five years, again second only to India at 21 per cent.

To address the challenge of its 900,000 maternal and child deaths, the SOML Initiative focuses on:

increasing the use of high-impact reproductive and child health and nutrition interventions;

improving the quality of these services;

strengthening monitoring and evaluation systems and measurement data;

encouraging private sector innovation; and

Increasing transparency in management and budgeting for Primary Health Care (PHC) in the country.

World Bank Support

In 2015, The World Bank Group’s Board of Executive Directors approved a $500 million International Development Association (IDA) credit to significantly improve maternal, child, and nutrition health services for women and children in Nigeria.

That fund is now being distributed to all states of the federation including the FCT, at $1.5m each as as grants sought to deliver high impact, evidence based and cost effective health interventions.

Minister of health Professor Isaac Adewole in july 2016 said government was adopting the Programme for Result approach to ensure the funds make maximum impact.

He said the SOML P for R would be implemented by the States’ Ministries of Health based on agreed plan of action with the Project Management Unit (PMU), at the Federal Ministry of Health, under the leadership of the SOML-P for R Steering committee, chaired by the Minister of Health.

Source: Voice of Nigeria