The Federal government has flagged-off the N1.08 billion Basic Healthcare Provision Fund (BHCPF) in Abia stated aimed at reducing inequality in use and access of healthcare services particularly by the most vulnerable whilst the state governor, Okezie Ikpeazu has warned against diversion or mismanagement of the funds.
Speaking at the launch at the Apumiri Primary Health Centre, Umuahia South Local Government Area in Abia, Minister of Health, Isaac Adewole explained that the state would benefit from services worth N1.08bn over the next nine months, adding that the amount will be disbursed to 36 PHCs in the state. According to him, the amount is equivalent to payment for the management of six hundred and thirty five thousand (635,000) normal deliveries, one million, eight hundred thousand (1,800,000) under five childhood illnesses or one million three hundred and fifty thousand (1,350,000) cases of malaria. In addition, three hundred and thirty two public sector facilities will become truly functional as a result of the program.
Adewole noted that government disbursed the sum of N12 billion to the National Primary Healthcare Development Agency (NPHCDA) and the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) accounts stressing that the NHIS will in turn send the resources to the accounts of the 23 States and FCT who have indicated interest in the program.
The Minister stated that the BHCPF will help reverse the poor health indices in the country by ensuring that death during childbirth will be a thing of the past; and our children will no longer have to die as a result of vaccine preventable diseases or other common ailments.
He commended the Global Facility Financing of the World Bank and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) that committed 20 Million USD and two Million USD respectively to the Programme in the early phase. He said that the project is meant to reach the helpless and the poor in the state but expressed worries that most often the funds meant to address the need of the poor are misappropriated.
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