Friday, 18 July 2014

Nigeria, Norway sign MoU to improve maternal-child health.

Minister of Health, Onyebuchi Chukwu
The Nigerian Government, the Norwegian Agency for Development and Cooperation and the Clinton Health Access Initiative (CHAI) have signed a tripartite agreement to the tune of 650 Million US Dollars to meet the funding gap to improve maternal and child health in Nigeria.

 The Minister of Health, Onyebuchi Chukwu (Prof), who signed on behalf of the Nigerian Government said that Nigeria is committed to meeting the health specific Millennium Development Goals by 2015. Adding, in-spite of the fact that the country has mainstreamed the MDGs targets into various national initiatives and strategies to fast-track the attainment of MDGs, more efforts are being required towards attaining the goals in 2015.

He further explained that the development of the Harmonized Country Plan of Priority Interventions for 2014 - 2015 (HCPPI) is one of such initiatives aimed at stepping up efforts in this regard. He intensified that through this plan, the Government intends to save an additional 420,000 maternal and children’s lives by 2015 at a total cost of $650 million US Dollars as identified in the Harmonized Country Plan, indicating that Government has estimated funding the gap of $420 million Dollars.

Onyebuchi Chukwu noted that the tripartite agreement represents one of the many efforts to meet the resource gap; adding that the expected impact on the target group will be to cause the reduction of maternal and neo-natal deaths in three selected States of Kaduna, Kano and Katsina by 40% in 2015. He opined that this translates to approximately 2,961 maternal and 19,825 neo-natal additional lives saved.

He decried the significant funding gap to be met, in order to drastically reduce maternal and less than 5 years mortality in Nigeria, saying the three main objectives of the project are to strengthen national and state coordination as well as implement a comprehensive maternal and neo-natal health strategy in the Northern States of Kaduna, Kano and Katsina. Speaking earlier, the Norwegian Ambassador to Nigeria, Rolf Ree in his remarks said that the signing of the agreement is part of the Norwegian commitment to reducing maternal and child deaths in Nigeria.

While assuring his country’s continued collaboration with Nigeria, he said that the signing of the MOU is his country’s intervention to scale up availability of contraceptive commodities for family planning and other health issues in Nigeria.

ABUJA (Federal Ministry of Health Report)

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