Kwara governor approves N282m for nutrition, primary healthcare

By Valentine Amanze

Kwara State Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq has approved immediate payment of at least N282 million in counterpart funding to deepen access to primary healthcare, health insurance and nutrition for under-three children in the state, according to a statement on Tuesday.

AbdulRazaq, through his Chief Press Secretary, Rafiu Ajakaye, explained that the N282 million includes N100 million counterpart funds for Basic Healthcare Provision Funds (BHPV); N50 million for Accelerating Nutrition Results in Nigeria (ANRIN); and another N82 million to access global grants for malaria.
According to the governor, the release of the counterpart funds for BHPV would grant Kwara State access to the World Bank/Federal Government’s grant to cater for health needs of pregnant and nursing women and children.
His words:

“Access to such funds will help combat maternal mortality rate and other basic health challenges related to women and children. Apart from this, the funds will help to fix facilities for primary health care and reduce the pressure on secondary and tertiary health institutions.”

The governor explained that the counterpart funds for ANRIN would grant the state access to donor funds to boost nutrition needs of children, “in what is a practical step to end the menace of stunting and wasting among young children.”

UNICEF had said that stunted/wasted children --all of them victims of malnutrition -- are at risk of early death or becoming liabilities to the society as they are unable to cope in school or contribute to economic growth.

“Experts have decried malnutrition rate among children in the North Central, where Kwara falls. Because these children are so key to the bright future that this government envisions for Kwara, it is important to urgently key into any initiative that would boost their nutrition and give them a brighter chance at life,” the governor said.
He also said, “The N82 million counterpart funding for malaria is to ensure that Kwara also benefits from Global Funds set aside by donor agencies to combat malaria.”
AbdulRazaq’s release of the counterpart funding for healthcare late Monday came almost simultaneously with the payment of the N450m Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC) which the agency insisted was diverted by the last administration. That diversion had led to the blacklisting of the state from the funds meant to boost access to primary health care, according to UBEC officials.

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