The Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Primary Health Care Board has described the World Bank health intervention initiative, Saving One. Million Lives (SOMIL) as a huge funding relief for primary health in the territory.
Dr Ndeayo Iwot, Acting Executive Secretary of the board, made the assessment in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Saturday in Abuj
Iwot commended the World Bank and other development partners for coming up with the funding initiative.
According to him, it has been beneficial to primariy health care in the FCT.
“Before now, there were health organisations that were far away from targeted health outcomes in the country due to poor funding.
“There was the urgent need to bring the country back on track, especially for services that were supposed to be rendered to people with great needs in understaffed areas.
“A consortium, led by the World Bank came up with the idea of SOMIL, to support the 36 states, plus the FCT by giving them a marching grant that would be utilised for pre-planned activities and programmes,” he said.
He said that four out of the six pillars of the intervention fund were in the jurisdiction of primary health, adding that it was necessary to ensure that Nigerians who dwelt in rural communities had improved access to basic health care.
” It is interesting to note that four out of the six pillars of SOMIL fall within the jurisdiction of primary health, like immunisation, family planning, maternal health and vitamin A efficiency.
“This underscores the importance of primary health and the need to improve access to basic health facilities in our communities,” he said.
The acting executive secretary said that the FCT had been awarded a further grant of nine million dollars, after judiciously expending it’s initial grant of 1.5 million dollars.
He assured that a substantial part of the grant would be dedicated to addressing child/ maternal health and other primary health concerns.
” Accessibility to the fund is based on results so that the more achievment you record the more funding you will get.
“An initial marching grant of 1.5 million dollars was given to each of the 36 states, and FCT came second in performance appraisal amongst all the states of the federation.
” This result has qualified us for a further grant of nine million dollars, most of which will be used to address prenatal health and child survival services.”
He advised residents of the territory to partner and cooperate with the board as it worked to achieve a healthy FCT population.