By Charles Akpeji, Jalingo
The dream of the Nigeria State Health Investment Project (NSHIP) to improved access to health services at a cheaper rate especially for persons domiciling in the rural communities of Taraba state, have no doubt began to yield positive result as the programme was said to have so far covered 47% of the population of the state.
The World Bank Project which commenced the execution of its programms in the state in 2017, with Ardo-Kola local government as a pilot Council, as observed by Naija247news has gone as far as bringing to the door steps of the people affordable health services.
Briefing journalists in Jalingo on its success stories, the state Project Coordinator, Dr. Ezekiel Ubanus, said the project which aimed at increasing the delivery and use of high impact Maternal and Child Health interventions and improve quality of care to ruler dwellers in the state and the Northeast at large, have began to yield positive results in Taraba.
Citing Ondo, Nassarawa as well as the North-East states where the project is presently being executed, actors of the project in Taraba state as made known by him have successfully achieved ” 47% coverage of the entire population of the state.
Ubanus who noted that the project is living no stone unturned to ” scale up” in order to reached out to the targeted councils of the state said ” NSHIP is a Performance Based Financing Programs” adding that ” we have done much in the state with particular emphasis on quality health care delivery services.”
Reiterating their determination to carry on their assigned responsibilities, the Project as made known by him is a ” World Bank funded project with counterpart funding from the state government” adding that ” our drugs and services are highly subsidized” which according to him ” are almost zero contribution by the people.”
The decision of the NSHIP to allowed women who delivers in any of it facilitates to pay less, as stated by him has gone a long way to improved the data of ” safe delivery from 8% to 71″ in the said pilot Council ” within a year.”
According to him ” the programme commenced in the state last year June with Ardo-Kola as a pilot Local Government Council” adding that ” we scaled up to Takum and Jalingo councils in May this year.”
Optimistic that the programme would further be scaled up to Gassol, Sardauna and Wukari councils on or before October this year, he solicited for continued support from the people so as to enable the programme extends to the entire targeted councils of the state.
Even though he identified security, shortage of manpower among others as one of the challenges presently confronting the programme, the staff and management of the programme as made known by him would not go to bed pending when health care delivery services become accessible at lower rate by all a sundries in the state.
Earlier,the Executive Secretary of the State Primary Health Care Development Agency (SPHCDA), Aminu Hassan Jauro, said the decision of the state governor, Arc. Darius Dickson Ishaku to pay the counterpart funds as at when due has greatly reduced massive movement of Patients from rural areas to the urban center.
The ES who said the three years programme was designed to implement integrated primary health care delivery and to as well ensure that persons at the grassroots have direct access to health care delivery noted that ” before now minor sickness that can be treated at the primary health care centers were often brought to the Federal Medical Centre and the State Specialist Hospital but wth the coming of this Project, the traffic has drastically reduced.”
While lauding the efforts of the NSHIP, the spread of the programme across the state as stated by him would be done in phases.