By Sola Ogundipe
Buoyed by the successes of the first phase of the Maternal and Child Health (MCH) project, Federal Government is extending the project to six other States in the country.
Executive Secretary of the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) Mr. Waziri Dogo-Muhammad dropped the hint at a tripartite meeting of the NHIS, Office of the Millenium Development Goals (MDGs) and Commissioners for Health in the six selected States viz: Bauchi, Jigawa , Cross River, Katsina, Yobe and Ondo states have been selected to participate in the second phase of the project, thus bringing the number of benefiting states to 12.
Dogo-Muhammad explained that the selection was a result of situation analysis of the prevalence of maternal and child mortality, stressing that the deplorable health indices made the current intervention imperative.
He restated the need to reverse the trend by providing physical and financial access to healthcare services through special intervention such as the Maternal and Child Health (MCH) project.
Dogo-Muhammad, who was represented by Dr. Kenneth Korve, General Manager, Technical Operations, said N4 billion has been earmarked for the phase two of the project , adding that benefiting states are required to match fifty percent of the grant.
He said about 500,000 persons in six LGAs of the selected states are to access care in this phase, adding that the package would include basic primary and secondary levels of care for pregnancy-related conditions.
The project is aimed at achieving significant reduction in maternal and child mortality as contained in the MDGs declaration to which Nigeria is a signatory.