By Simon Ebegbulem
BENINâ€”Edo state government has paid the sum of N50 million as counterpart fund for the Health System Development Project (HSDP) to partner with the World Bank in strengthening the Primary Health Care Programme in the state.
State Commissioner for Health, Dr Moses Momoh, who disclosed this, also debunked rumors that over N10million World Bank-assisted fund was misappropriated by some officials of the Ministry, adding that the N50Â million counterpart fund, which was approved by Governor Adams Oshiomhole, would attract $2million from the World Bank.
According to him, â€œwe have placed the N50million according to the World Bank regulation in Zenith Bank and the statement of account has been taken to the World Bank in Abuja and once they confirm the placement of that money, we expect that they will give us $2 million and once that is done, the projects will be inaugurated and then we will start to withdraw on the account. And it will go a long way in strengthening our Primary Health Care.
â€œThe emphasis is on Primary Health Care, maternal and child care. We are assuring the public that this money will be used judiciously and then we hope that there is improvement in the health indices in this area in terms of maternal mortality and infant mortality.
â€œWe have many projects to ensure that this is made possible; we are building our training institutions, perimeter fencing, water supply to the training institutions, more classrooms and auditorium.â€
Commissioner Momoh added that â€œwe have also constructed nine primary health care centers and since January, we are building underground water tank, grand level water tank and perimeter fencing of at least nine primary health care centers.
â€œWe are moving to the next stage now by building two bungalows in each of the nine health care centers, bring it to a total of 18 bungalows that we are going to use the African Development Bank component of the HSDP fund to do.
â€œThese projects are across the three senatorial district and they are in the rural areas. Apart from the training institution which are in Benin, all the other projects are in the rural areas.
â€œ The selection of the projects is both from World Bank officials and officials of my ministry, so the selection is very objective. It will serve the greatest need of our people.â€