Three million Nigerian citizens in the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, will soon enjoy improved access to primary healthcare services, as the United States Agency for International Development, USAID, and administration of the Federal Capital Territory, have inaugurated a new Primary Healthcare Steering Committee to that effect.
The Committee was established through a Memorandum of understanding between USAID and the FCT signed in December twenty-twenty to help guide a plan of health systems reform to improve primary healthcare service delivery.
The Steering Committee is to complement an Operations Committee inaugurated in June twenty twenty-one, also established under the pact, and they are to provide planning, leadership and milestone review as to whether performance targets are being met, as agreed in the MOU, which is to improve quality and access to healthcare services for the citizens of FCT.
Speaking at the inauguration ceremony, USAID’s Mission Director, Dr. Anne Patterson, said the Agency recognizes the importance of strong and resilient health system in guaranteeing universal access to health services and improving health outcomes.
According to the Mission Director, the new Steering Committee will play a vital role in guiding the primary healthcare partnership to success through the five-year MoU, which is expected to guide the FCT administration in financing and managing resources, staffing, and administering immunization programs, among other facets of strong primary healthcare program.
The MoU will also establish a comprehensive work plan with adequate budget that will be shared with partners for review and feedback, especially in combating Nigeria’s public health’s major challenge of recruitment and reassignment of adequate number of skilled health workers.
The committee will be co-chaired by the FCT Minister of State, Hajia Ramatu Tijani Aliyu, and USAID’s Mission Director, Dr. Patterson and include senior FCT Health officials and a representative from the Health Reform Foundation of Nigeria as members.
Ekwii Ajide of ABS, Abuja Bureau, reports that USAID will support implementation of the MoU through four key activities, including the Integrated Health Program, to provide reproductive, maternal and child health, as well as nutrition services, the Procurement and Supply Chain Mechanism, to improve commodities logistics and supply chain management, social and behavioral change messaging, through Breakthrough Action-Nigeria, and Health Workforce Management, to build the capacity of health workers.