The National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA) has set up a steering committee in Ekiti State towards ensuring the successful implementation of its SURE-P Maternal and Child Health (MCH) Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT) programme in the state.
The committee is made up of the state Commissioner for Health as Chairman, Permanent Secretary of the Primary Health Care Development Agency, State MDGs Focal Person, SURE-P MCH State Programme Assistant as well as representatives of the state Ministry of Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, state Ministry of Information, traditional rulers, religious leaders, coordinators of benefiting LGA PHCs and the SURE-P MCH CCT Technical Officer.
Speaking during the official inauguration of the committee, the Executive Director/CEO of NPHCDA, Dr. Ado Muhammad stressed that the
focus of his agency was to utilize the project to improve maternal and child health through the provision of access to properly equipped health care facilities with trained health care workers capable of providing quality service delivery.
According to him, the CCT project was not only designed to encourage pregnant women to go through the full continuum of maternal, neonatal and child health services, it is also meant to improve the welfare of beneficiaries through cash support in order to reduce the impact of economic barriers to access health services.
The agency boss who spoke through the Zonal Technical Officer, SURE-P MCH CCT, Mrs. Folakemi Aladenika disclosed that the SURE-P MCH has added an innovation of employing the services of village health workers with the support of government workers and Ward Development Committees (WDC) to overcome the challenges of getting and retaining health care workers to live and work amongst the rural communities.
He urged the members of the newly constituted steering committee to see the assignment as a call to duty and handle it with all sense of responsibility in order to achieve the desired result.
Responding, the state Commissioner for Health, Professor Olusola Fasubaa lauded the scheme which he said would better the lots of women and children in the state.
Professor Fasubaa noted that the reduction of maternal and child mortality had been a challenge adding that until recently when the MCH CCT was introduced, there was no pragmatic approach to addressing the problem.
The Commissioner assured that members of the committee would work tirelessly to ensure the success of the programme in the state, saying that SURE-P programmes have always been well received and duly supported in the state which he noted is why the state remained far ahead of other benefiting states in SURE-P programmes.
In her remarks, the Head, Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT) Programme Operation Unit of SURE-P MCH project, Dr. Chichi Aigbe disclosed that the current CCT programme will commence in one SURE-P MCH cluster comprising of Iyin General Hospital, Are Basic Health Center in Irepodun/Ifelodun Local Government Area, Ikogosi Comprehensive Health Center in Ekiti West Local Government Area, Ogotun BHC in Ekiti South West Local Government Area, and Okeyinmi CHC in Ado Local Government Area.