The European Union has donated €70 million to a healthcare project that seeks to support nutrition and the final push to eradicate polio in Nigeria.
Speaking at the launch of the project, EU Ambassador to Nigeria and ECOWAS, Michel Arrion, said the project would help to improve access to effective health and nutrition in five prioritised states and support the final push to eradicate polio in Nigeria.
“The focus is especially on providing services to poor, marginalized rural women and children, saving the lives of mothers and children and improving their health and nutrition through a sustainable primary health care delivery system,” he said.
The Minister of Health, Isaac Adewole, expressed appreciation for the support.
He said the funds will go a long way in helping to revitalize about 774 Primary Health Centers (PHCs) in three states, thus completing a fraction of the 10, 000 PHCs to be revitalized by the Federal Government.
“At the end of this exercise, EU would have strengthened 774 PHCs in the three states. Thus our target of revitalizing 10, 000 PHCs is on course and we are quite confident that we shall get there.”
The support fund, which is part of the €512 million five year partnership agreement between the European regional body and Nigerian government, is also to strengthen the country’s health system and to eradicate polio virus.
The first phase of the project under the 11th European Development Fund, will be implemented jointly by UNICEF and the World Health Organsiation.
Fifty million euros, according to the breakdown, will be going to Adamawa, Bauchi and Kebbi to ensure that by 2020 the states have functional primary health care centres, providing round-the-clock services to three million children under the age of five as well as almost a million pregnant women and lactating mothers.
The remaining €20 million will go for strengthening of health care systems towards achieving universal health coverage in Anambra and Sokoto states and also the efforts to support the eradication of polio permanently in the country.
The Executive Director of National Primary Health Care Development agency, Faisal Shuaib, promised that the agency will ensure transparency and accountability in spending of the grant and also ensure it is used for its original purpose.