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New deal for FCT residents: N224m Basic Healthcare Fund takes off

2nd Sep, 2019 | By Wisdom Acka | ||

Within nine months of operation, no fewer than 784 ,000 residents, especially the most vulnerable, of Federal Capital Territory (FCT) are expected to access healthcare under the recently-launched Basic Health Care Provision Fund (BHCPF). Some of the ailments covered by the Fund include ante-natal care, delivery and post-natal care, malaria, pneumonia, measles and dysentery treatment for children less than five years old. Others are screening for hypertension and diabetes, and family planning.

Permanent Secretary, FCT , Sir Christian Chinyeaka Ohaa, broke the cheery news during flag-off of the Fund at the Primary Health Care Centre , Kuchigoro, Abuja, last week. Abuja Digest Weekly gathered that the programme seeks to reverse poor health indices, tackle death during childbirth, with children no longer having to die as a result of vaccine-preventable diseases or other common ailments, and access to health care would not be limited because of a lack of financial capacity to pay.

Sir Ohaa explained: "The Fund is an intervention by the Nigerian Government to improve healthcare outcomes in the country. The primary purpose of this Fund is to support the effective delivery of Primary Health Care services and the provision of Basic Minimum Package of Health Services (BMPHS). " Italso covers emergency medical treatment through adequate and sustainable funding that will be efficiently and equitably used to provide health services, thereby ensuring financial risk protection in accessing quality health services for all Nigerians, particularly the poor and most vulnerable."

Sir Ohaa said the programme would be "funded through the Federal Government's annual grant of not less than one per cent of its Consolidated Revenue Fund, commitment from benefiting States and the FCT, grants by international donors and funds from other sources." He further disclosed that for the part of FCT Administration (FCTA), it ''has met all the eligibility criteria stipulated for the enrolment and operationalization of the fund,'' adding that "all FCT residents are eligible to be enrolled to access the Basic Minimum Package of Health Services."

Earlier, Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Health , Abdulaziz Abdullahi Mashi disclosed that hundreds of FCT residents would benefit from services worth N224 million in the next nine months. He said: "This amount is equivalent to payment for the management of 131,000 women with normal deliveries, 373,000 under-5 childhood illnesses or 280, 000 cases of malaria. In addition, 62 public sector facilities will become truly functional as a result of the programme.

"Yet slow progress on poverty reduction, health outcomes, literacy, and governance challenges threaten our development. As you may know, 70% of total health expenditure in Nigeria is borne out of pocket. This is far higher than the globally acceptable rate of 30-40% and remains a barrier to accessing care . T h e administration of President Muhammadu Buhari is committed to reversing this ugly situation and promoting shared prosperity." He noted that the Fund, also known as 'huwe', an Ebira word for 'life', will help reverse the poor health indices, tackle death during childbirth, children would no longer have to die as a result of vaccine-preventable diseases or other common ailments, and access to health care would not be limited because of a lack of financial capacity to pay.

Abdullahi decried that "about 70 per cent of total health expenditure in Nigeria is borne out of pocket and this is far higher than the globally acceptable rate of 30-40% and this remains a barrier to accessing care." Executive Secretary, National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) , Mohammed Sambo, in his goodwill message, lamented that it was quite unfortunate that the Fund was not appropriated for implementation until 2018. "NHIS , therefore , encourages all implementing agencies and partners to give this programme the muchneeded publicity and support as it can contribute to the reduction to high out-ofpocket expenditure and resultant poverty experienced by Nigerians in event of illness," he said.

News Update

The Minister said these after a meeting of the FCT Security Committee which comprises heads of the police, military and para-military formations in FCT as well as Area Council Chairmen and religious leaders.

The cheery news is coming as Minister of State, FCT, Dr. Ramatu Tijjani Aliyu will headline a distinguished galaxy of stakeholders for the FCT pension stakeholders retreat this week.

Finally last week, Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) took over managing and operating the newly- completed Nigeria-Korea Model School in Abuja.

President Muhammadu Buhari has said that his Administration will continue to fashion policies designed to ensure employment and security of all citizens, especially the youth.

Minister of Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Malam Muhammad Musa Bello has decried the lynching of three suspected traffic robbers popularly known as 'One chance' in Dutsen Alhaji area of Abuja last week.

Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) always makes public the allocations in line with President Muhammadu Buhari's Change Agenda which harps on transparency, anti-corruption and accountability, tenets which FCT Minister, Malam Muhammad Musa Bello has made his beacon.


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