By Gabriel Ewepu – Abuja
As Nigerians yearn for quality health care delivery services, two non-governmental organizations, PharmAccess Foundation and Merck Sharp Dohme, MSD, on Tuesday , partnered to improve reproductive, maternal, newborn and child health in Lagos State.
The Country Director, PharmAccess Foundation Nigeria, Njide Ndili, explained that the partnership is on the heels of Momcare Smart Contracts for Maternity Care) Project launched by Lagos State Health Management Agency, LASHMA, as an innovative, digital, and interactive financing approach to better quality care for pregnant women.
According to Ndili, MomCare was developed to help track a mother’s journey through her pregnancy to ensure that she gets the adequate help she needs and at the time she needs it.
She said it is a service that innovates at the nexus of health care, finance, and technology to bring better access and quality healthcare to expectant mothers.
Meanwhile, the Board Chairman, LASHMA, Dr Ade Alakija, project, as efforts are on to ensure continual increase on enrollment of people during his opening remarks Dr Ade Alakija, Board Chairman LASHMA mentioned that in a bid to continually increase the number of enrollees and improve the quality of care provided on the scheme, LASHMA, the
organization has gone into exploring more partnership deals with international and local development organizations, which also had facilitated introduction of the MomCare programme through the Lagos State Health Scheme.
According to Alakija, MomCare will use digital technology and data to track the journey of pregnant women throughout the maternal care period to ensure safe pregnancy and delivery and reduce maternal and neonatal mortality.
He reiterated LASHMA’s commitment in working with PharmAccess Foundation and Merck Sharp Dorme (MSD) for Mothers, to bring to reality the possibilities that MomCare provides.
The Nigeria Director MSD for Mothers, Iyadunni Olubode, during her opening speech mentioned that safe delivery is a fundamental right of every Nigerian woman and a collective right. According to her, the private sector must be supported by the private sector via special innovative fund to ensure better health outcomes. She also added that MSD for Mothers is proud to work with PharmAccess Foundation and Lagos State Health Management Agency.
In another remark, PharmAccess Quality Director, Dr Ibironke Dada, in her presentation, expressed optimism that MomCare will improve access and uptake of quality RMNCH services under LSHS.
Dada also added that MomCare will stimulate enrolment on the LSHS and catalyze local and international donor funding for RMNCH services. The event was attended by stakeholders in the Health sector.
The objectives of MomCare is to improve access and uptake of quality reproductive, maternal, newborn and child health (RMNCH) services under Lagos State Health Scheme (LSHS) and also to improve the quality of maternal and newborn health care using SafeCare quality improvement methodology.
This combines SafeCare certification and benchmarking providers, with LASHMA IT Platform and Mother Journey (a mobile application to track pregnant women along the care process).