Enugu state releases N100m counterpart for basic health care

The Enugu State Government has paid its N100 million counterpart fund for the Basic Health Care Provision Fund (BHCPF) to enable the state benefit from the initiative.

The BHCPF, is one per cent of the Federal Government Consolidated Revenue and contributions from donor grants.

The Fund, which was inaugurated by President Muhammadu Buhari on Jan. 8, had been set aside to fund the basic health needs of Nigerians.

Dr George Ugwu, the Executive Secretary of Enugu State Primary Health Care Development Agency (ENS-PHCDA), disclosed this to NAN on Saturday in Enugu.

According to him, the Enugu State has passed into Law the State Health Sector Reform Law, 2017, No. 7, which established ENS-PHCDA.

“The Executive Governor of Enugu State, Gov. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, has in addition released N100 million Government Counterpart Contribution required as part of the conditions for Enugu State to benefit from the BHCPF Fund.

“This is a demonstration of Ugwuanyi’s passion and commitment toward providing health democracy dividend to the people of the state and in fulfilment of part of his campaign promises,’’ he said.

Ugwu said that the government had upgraded and renovated three Primary Healthcare Centres (PHCs), one in each of the three senatorial zones of the state, as a model of public PHC under the Ward Health System.

He said that the state had selected one PHC facility in each of the 291 wards in the state for renovation and upgrading in line with new order and to enable them provide quality and affordable healthcare to the people.

The executive secretary said: “the Federal Ministry of Health, through the National Primary Health Care Development Agency, is being awaited for an assessment of the selected PHCs.

“This is in order to ascertain their gaps in Human and institutional capacity, including but not limited to Human Resources for Health (HRH), medical equipment, drugs and other medical supplies, Health Management Information System and physical infrastructure which will pave way for a comprehensive intervention and overhaul.’’

The HCPF is the fundamental funding provision under the National Health Act and was appropriated for the first time in the 2018 budget since the Act was signed in 2014.

The Federal Government earmarked N55.1 billion from the Consolidated Revenue Fund (CRF) to the basket fund of the BHCPF, while the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation contributed two million dollars, out of which  1.5 million dollars have been released.

The Global Financing Facility (GFF) has also committed 20 million dollars to the fund, while the Department for International Development (DFID) is also putting 50 million pounds sterling over the next five years.

The fund is expected to help revive the health sector, especially PHC centres many of which have been abandoned across the country.

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