Thursday, 20 February 2014

What is SURE-P all about?

In January 2012, the government of Nigeria, through a prudent strategic economic intervention, reduced the amount of subsidy paid on petroleum products. This subsidy reduction places potential burdens on the vulnerable population directly and indirectly. As a control measure, the Federal Government decided to channel its own share of the subsidy reinvestment funds into a combination of programmes to stimulate the economy and alleviate poverty through provision of critical infrastructure and safety net projects.

The Subsidy Reinvestment and Empowerment Programme (SURE-P) is thus designed to invest the 'savings' accrued from the fuel subsidy reduction on vulnerable populations in Nigeria by initiating a robust social safety net programme to improve their lives. It also aims to stimulate the economy and alleviate poverty through critical infrastructure and human resource empowerment projects. 

The scheme aims at implementation of different programmes including Maternal and Child Health, public works, employment schemes, mass transit programmes, vocational training and skill acquisition schemes.

The Maternal and Child Health component (MCH) of the SURE-P, (SURE-P MCH) aspires to contribute to the reduction of maternal and newborn morbidity and mortality, and place Nigeria on track to achieve the fourth and fifth Millennium Development Goals. The project seeks to increase utilization of Maternal and Child Health services by Nigeria’s rural populations through innovative demand and supply side interventions along the continuum of care (antenatal care, presence of a skilled birth attendant at delivery, 2 day post natal care and use of family planning). The demand side intervention consists of conditional cash transfers to pregnant women and community health resource persons while the supply side intervention includes provision of basic primary health care services by midwives and community health workers. 

The project, which will run for four years from 2012 to 2015, builds on the NPHCDA’s highly successful Midwives Service Scheme, and is focused on increasing access to maternal health services during pregnancy and at birth through the use of a conditional cash transfer program. 

Most recent data shows that within 2 years of implementation, the MSS scheme was able to reduce the maternal mortality ratio by 26%, reduce neonatal mortality by 22%, increase the percent of women accessing ANC by 22%, increase the percentage of births by skilled attendants by 33% and increase the percent of reproductive aged women using family planning by 100%. 

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