Abia partners USAID on health delivery

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Abia State has joined the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and Health Policy Plus (HP+) with the aim of making the state’s health care sector better.

Speaking during a seminar by the HP+ in Umuahia, the state Commissioner for Health Dr John Ahukannna said that the state government is happy to welcome them to the state and to assist them in improving the health sector.

Ahukannna thanked them for coming to the state to help them especially in the area of health financing and health insurance and assured them of the full cooperation of the state government to ensure they succeed.

The commissioner said that the group has been to other states where they succeeded, adding that they are going to adopt their template which they have produced for the state as it will benefit all Abians.

Ahukannna noted that they are coming to the state at the right time, pointing out that the two state agencies will need their support to attain their potentials which will also go a long way to ensure that people have good health system.

The country director of HP+ Onoriode Ezire who was represented by Peter Osagie said that they are happy to see what is going on in the state and the way the health financing is taking place in Abia State.\

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Ezire said that the Abia State has positioned itself a USAID is happy with what they have seen since coming into the state, stressing that the government has also been able to provide them with an office space.

The HP+ country director described their agency as a consortium of partners led by Palladium, “The work of the project is to strengthen and advance health policy to improve the enabling environment for equitable and sustainable health services”.

He said, “The key tenet of HP+ is to maximise resources for health by increasing sustainable, predictable and adequate financing for health programs and health policy implementation”.

“We are also in the area of supplies and delivery system in the areas of family planning and reproduction health, HIV and maternal health among other health related sectors”.

“In Abia State we are working to strengthen its health financing structures and its capacity to capitalise on key health financing reforms and this efforts build on past successes by HP+.”

“The work also includes its predecessor projects to develop the capacity of national and state-level advocacy working groups to conduct evidence based advocacy to increase funding for family planning at the federal and state levels”.

Ezire said that Nigeria is currently undergoing significant health financing reforms that if fully implemented would substantially increase resources for health and extended primary health care to all Nigerians.

He added that Abia being a phase 1 pilot state for BHCPF rollout, participants at the HP+ work planning consultation recognized that the state has demonstrated political commitment through its initial budget allocation of N100m to meet the required state-level counterpart funding.

The HP+ country director said, “Through World Bank support baseline facility assessments have been conducted in Abia state as the BHCPF will direct funds through the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA) gateway”.

“We are working with key stakeholders in Abia State to advance three key objectives which include strengthen governance in the state, coordination and synchronisation to sustain stewardship and ownership of health financing reforms”.

“Identify mad mobilise predictable and sustainable financial resources for health within Abia State and improve transparency, accountability and efficiency of mobilised resource”.

Culled From – thenationonlineng.net

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