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World Bank Injects U.S.$150 Million Healthcare Investment in Nigeria

February 17, 2014

Paul Obi and Kasim Samaina

Nigeria received a boost to further healthcare financing as the World Bank announced the injection of $150 million alongside a $21.5 million grant from the United Kingdom (UK) and Norway Governments to support healthcare investment in the country over a period of five years.

Speaking at the official launching of Nigeria State Health Investment Project (NSHIP), World Bank Country Director to Nigeria, Marie Francoise Marie-Nelly said the project will help strengthen the coverage of essential health services through multiple result-based approaches.

Speaking further, Marie-Nelly explained that the $150 million project would be geared towards increasing "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 publicly-financed health facilities."

According to the World Bank officials, the project is targeted at providing efficient services to about 9.4 million people covering Adamawa, Nasarawa and Ondo States, while the implementation will be carried under the auspices of the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA).

The bank country director observed that the project was first approved in 2012, but had to be delayed in order to build capacity in 'Performance Based Financing (PBF) and pre-politing proof of concept.'

She said: "being in its early stage, implementation of the project requires great efforts", adding, "if we continue with the tenacity and doggedness exhibited in the last year and the environment continues to be supportive, we will really bend the arc of history in the three states in particular and in Nigeria in general."

Minister of Health, Prof. Onyebuchi Chukwu while commending the World Bank, UK and Norway Governments noted that "the project demonstrates that public resources can be effectively leveraged through strategic use of PBF mechanism to strengthen accountability at all levels of health system, energise the system to deliver effective and quality health services, thereby, fostering accelerated economic development of the country."

According to Chukwu, government, through monitoring and evaluation has observed good report from the selected facilities in the local government areas where the project is being piloted."

The minister likewise added that the performance of the various States in the project will assist government in scaling up such programmes in the transformation of the nation's healthcare service delivery for optimum results.

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Source: AllAfrica

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