Ondo State Government has cautioned the Federal Government to re-consider laying off thousands of health workers engaged under the SURE-P Midwives Scheme noting that this would cause a setback for the gains recorded on maternal and child survival in the last few years.
The State Health Commissioner, Dr Dayo Adeyanju recently gave the advise at a meeting in Akure with the 400 health workers engaged under the programme in Ondo State.
Adeyanju said the Federal Government should rather block leakages in the system and possibly gradually exit from the programme instead of a sudden withdrawal, based on the significant impact the programme has had at reducing maternal and child mortality in Nigeria.
“The Federal Government should not have pulled-out completely, even if they want to do so, it should be a gradual process, because if they are able to block the leakages in the system, especially with the newly introduced Performance Based Financing, it will help sustain the programme for more effective health service delivery, especially in the grassroots.” Adeyanju said.
He however revealed that Ondo State Government is working out plans to retain over 400 health workers employed under the SURE-P Programme of the Federal Government in the state.
He affirmed that the state government will be willing to keep them in the system, as they contribute immensely to the Abiye and Agbebiye initiatives of the present government in the state.
According to him: “You would recall that last week, the Federal Government decided to withdraw from the SURE-P Midwives Scheme, saying it cannot sustain it anymore.
“This would create a lot of human resources gap at the Primary Health Care level, which is the most critical level in the health system of any developing nation. Therefore, as a State Government, we cannot allow this to happen.”.
He said, if the State Government must keep reducing maternal and child mortality and sustain the programme, which is to ensure that pregnancy is no longer a death sentence in the state, the workers are also needed in the sector.
Comments expressed here do not reflect the opinions of Vanguard newspapers or any employee thereof.