Underfunding may affect maternal, child health programme, says Sure-P chairman

ABUJA – The Chairman, Subsidy Re-investment Empowerment Programme (SURE-P), Lt.-Gen. Martin Luther-Agwai (rtd), says inadequate funding may affect SURE-P’s implementation on the Maternal and Child Health Programme (MCHP).

Agwai made the disclosure when representatives from the United Nations Population Fund (UNFP) visited him on Monday in Abuja.

“Based on the resources available, we have now mapped out the priority areas. But we wish we have enough to share with our partners.

“We may not be able to meet up with all the deadlines and all the resources the partners will require and that may be our drawback.

“However, I can assure you that all the areas of priorities will be covered.

“Definitely, the underfunding have some effects. But we are working with the MCHP sub-committee and the project implementation unit to meet the priorities,’’ Agwai said.

He listed the areas of priorities to include building, equipment needed for safe delivery of the women, training of the village health workers and potable water.

Agwai explained that the provision of the necessary drugs and other items to the women for safe delivery would continue but the Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT) may not be continued.

He, however, pledged SURE-P’s commitment to collaborating partner agencies in areas of capacity-building.

The SURE-P convener, MCHP, Mrs Halima Alfa, said SURE-P has scaled up in the area of CCT and it intends to continue to do so.

“In the areas of our priority at the CCT level, we have scaled up and will continue but the chairman is yet to note this. [eap_ad_2] “It is one of our critical areas which had motivated women to come out, more especially the indigent pregnant women and we have scaled up to about 17 states,’’ Alfa said.

She said there was about 1,200 rehabilitation centres across the country which the SURE-P supplied medical commodities and training to nurses in the facilities.

“We have zero tolerance to post-natal death and the death of children from one to five years.

“In the areas of advocacy, we interact with the Ministry of Women Affairs, we assemble women and sensitise them, and we are geared up. But, we will like the collaboration,’’ Alfa said.

Ms Ratidzai Ndhlovu, the Representative of United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), said the fact that government was aware that MCHP was underfunded was a good thing.

She urged government to do something to get it to the right place.

Ndhlovu said partnership was not just about money but collaboration, working together, sharing ideas and agreement to do things right.

“We have the same challenge and we will continue to come to SURE-P to see what can be done.

“It is not quite bad news, as the chairman has said they will want to scale up but for the budget cut.

“He said they are going to look into it and that gives us hope that whatever they are able to come up with will help us to scale up in some of the programmes.

“This is not an easy year, but we still have to save lives. I am highly impressed by Nigeria’s effort but I will like to appeal that they do more,’’ Ndhlovu said.(NAN)[eap_ad_3]

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