“No Results, No Further Payments”, Health Minister, Prof. Adewole warns State Govts after initial $1.5 Million disbursement for SOML Project

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The Honorable Minister of Health, Professor Isaac Adewole has read the riot act to State Governments following the disbursement of $1.5 million to each of the 36 States and FCT under the Saving One Million Lives Program for Results (SOMLP4R) of the Ministry.

The Minister made the remarks on Tuesday in Kaduna during an operationalization meeting of the SOMLP4R organized by the Federal Ministry of Health in Partnership with MNCH2 program.

Prof. Adewole noted that the SOMLP4R had disbursed a performance based grant of $1.5m each to 36 states and the FCT in the health sector. He said the program is motivated by the desire to pay for results rather than paying for processes and reimbursing activity. Prof. Adewole said the program had 6 major pillars and 2 enablers that can change health outcomes in Nigeria. He outlined the pillars as; Maternal New Born and Child Health, Childhood Essential Medicines and increasing treatment of Childhood diseases, Improving Child Nutrition, Immunization, Malaria Control and Elimination of Mother to Child transmission (eMTCT) of HIV and the enablers as Promoting Innovation and use of ICT and improving Supply and Distribution Chain.  The minister who disclosed that states receive 82% of the grant and that  further disbursement will be made based on 5 Disbursement Linked Indicators.

Governor Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna State, who was the chief host of the meeting, in his brief remark thanked the Hon. Minister and assured him of his commitment to the SOMLP4R.

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The governor emphasized his state’s commitment to complete the process of establishing PHCUOR and announced efforts by his government to improve the 255 PHCs and 23 comprehensive health centres in his state as well as other efforts related to the indicators such as encouraging routine immunisation through meetings with Local Government Chairs and Traditional Rulers. “We welcome SOMLP4R and embrace it, I and other North West governors are committed to improving healthcare in our states,” Malam El-Rufai said.

El-Rufai pleaded with the FG to support states to implement the SBHIS so as to reduce out of pocket spending and enable the poor and vulnerable afford medical care.

The National Team Lead of the MNCH2, Dr. Salma Anas-Kolo said that the SOMLP4R aligns with her Program’s mandate to drastically reduce maternal deaths and improve survival rate. She stressed that the country, Nigeria, contributes more than 10% of the global burden and highlighted that about 70% of the burden in Nigeria is brought by the 6 North West states. Dr. Anas Kolo called for an integrated approach to deliver MNCH services using Primary Health Centers (PHCs) as the platform and called for increased government funding.

She commended the Kaduna state government, revealing that the program has witnessed a lot of significant improvement in the state, especially in the area of human resources. “If by 2019, MNCH2 in collaboration with Government and relevant partners are able improve maternal health and strengthen health systems in the North West region, the overall health indices in Nigeria will improve’, she said.

Dr. Benjamin Loevinsoh, Chief of Health, Nutrition and Population at the World Bank explained the philosophy of the SOML program was around these cardinal points; Robust Measurement of Results, Responsibility of States, Competition, Relevant Performance not absolute and Reducing Risk. He however noted that states will compete against themselves based on their own baseline as progress and improvement is of the most importance to them.

The meeting which held from the 16th to 17th of August 2016 had in attendance key stakeholders in the health sector drawn from across the North West states and Yobe as well as development institutions and partners including Hajiya Binta Lami Adamu Bello, Permanent  Secretary of the Federal Ministry of Health; Dr. Mrs. Adebimpe Adebiyi, Director of Family Health; Dr. Ibrahim Kana, National Program Coordinator of the SOMLP4R; and Prof. J.I.Brian Adinma, the President of the Society of Gynecology & Obstetrics of Nigeria as well as commissioners and key executives from the various states represented.

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