By Doosuur Iwambe, Abuja
The Federal Government has flagged off the Basic Healthcare Provision Fund, (BHCPF), known as HUWE, in Delta state.
Speaking at the ceremony, the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Health, Mr. Abdulaziz Mashi Abdullahi restated the commitment of President Muhammadu Buhari’s led Administration to reverse the ugly trend whereby seventy percent (70%) of the total health expenditure are being borne out- of- pocket in Nigeria and which remains a barrier to accessing care by most Nigerians especially the poor and the vulnerable.
He said that the government is mindful that the success depends on the ability to transform non-renewable (and often volatile) natural capital into productive wealth by investing more in human capital.
“I am positive that Huwe will help reverse the poor health indices in the country, reduce to the barest minimum death during childbirth; and our children will no longer have to die as a result of vaccine preventable diseases or other common ailments. Also, access to health care will not be limited because of not having money to pay”, The Permanent Secretary further explained.
Abdullahi also noted that to ensure equity in the disbursement of funds, the Federal government had allocated resources per State based on the incidence of poverty and also on a per capita basis. This guarantees that the BHCPF would help reduce inequality in use and access to services particularly by the most vulnerable.
Consequently, he assured that, residents of Delta State would benefit from services worth N1bn over the next 9 months. This amount is equivalent to payment for the management of four hundred and two thousand (402,000) women with normal deliveries, One million six hundred and seventy three thousand (1,673,000) under 5-childhood illnesses or One million one hundred and fifteen thousand (1, 115, 000) cases of malaria.
The Permanent Secretary added that two hundred and sixty eight public sector facilities would become truly functional as a result of the program.
Also speaking at the occasion, the Executive Governor of the Delta State, Senator, Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa, represented by the Deputy Governor, Barr. Kingsley Otuaro, said that the State Government would continue to do its best to deliver health for all Deltans in line with Universal Health Coverage and the United Nations Agenda for Sustainable Development Goals.
“Our resolve is therefore to work tirelessly with all relevant stakeholders in the state and at Federal level in the next four years to ensure that the Primary Healthcare System is responsive to the needs of all Deltans”.
The Governor also expressed the commitment of his administration to direct similar efforts and support towards the referral facilities in order to transform them for better health outcomes.