The World Bank, United Kingdom’s Department for International Development, DFID and the Government of Norway have offered $170 million credit to Nigeria to facilitate her attainment of health component of the Millennium Development Goals, MDGs.
The credit was granted to three states of Ondo, Adamawa and Nasarawa, which are being used as pilot for Nigeria State Health Investment Project, NSHIP, an initiative expected to boost health financing, programming and administration across the states of the federation.
Speaking at the launch of the initiative in Abuja yesterday, World Bank Country Representative, Marie- Francoise Marie-Nelly, said the project was aimed at increasing coverage of essential health services and strengthen the health system through multiple resultbased approaches.
Marie added: “Specifically, the project aims to increase the delivery and utilisation of high impact maternal, child, reproductive and disease control health interventions particularly among the poor and improve the quality of care provided in publiclyfinanced health facilities within Adamawa, Nasarawa and Ondo States.The project is anchored at the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA) while Federal Ministry of Health performs the steering role.”
She noted that though the project was approved by the bank in 2012, it did not take off until late last year. That, she said, enabled the executors of the project to conduct adequate study of health situations in the pilot states.
According to her, since then, the pre-pilot has been demonstrating remarkable performance. The average coverage of institutional delivery in the pre-pilot LGAs increased from 11 per cent in December 2011 to 40 per cent in September 2013. Completely vaccinated children increased from 7 per cent to 43 per cent.
Marie also disclosed that other indicators showed similar increases.” Quality scores of health facilities increased from 21 per cent to 81 per cent in Nasarawa State and from 25 per cent to 66 per cent in Adamawa State,” she added.
In his address, Minister of Health, Prof Onyebuchi Chukwu stated that the project was to run for five years and it was expected to benefit 9.4 million people in the pilot states.
He said of the project: “The NSHIP is a performance- based scheme. The whole essence is to see whether deploying the whole mechanism of rewarding performance in terms of financing, which means those who are doing well, encourage them whether that will ensure a better outcome in the health sector. We are piloting in three states, using money that are borrowed with concessional rates from the international Development Association, IDA, which actually means borrowing from the World Bank to do it.