Nasarawa receives $500, 000 Bill and Melinda Gates grant

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Umar Muhammed, Lafia

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation on Friday donated $500,000 grant to the Nasarawa State Government in support of primary health care across the 13 local government areas and 18 development areas of the state.

Director of Integrated Delivery of the foundation, Mr. Dana Hovig, who oversaw the handing over of the grant to the state government in Lafia, the capital, said that the fund was to assist the administration in delivering better health services to the people.

According to him, Nasarawa was considered for the grant because of its performance in primary health care delivery.

Hovig said the partnership between the foundation and the state was a demonstration of the belief that set targets would be met in due course.

According to him, the establishment of the State Primary Health Care Development Agency has paved the way for the appropriate legislation and coordination needed to manage health care facilities across the state.

Speaking further, Hovig affirmed that the performance-based financing was built on mechanism used to drive up performance of health systems by tackling the reasons of underperformance, such as inadequate health services, barriers to accessing quality care, poor governance and financial management practices, among other challenges.

He said, “We believe that Nasarawa State can maximise the gains already demonstrated from the performance-based financing approach to transform its PHC system in two years.

“What we see in this strategic partnership between the state government and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has the potential to save even more lives.”

Earlier, the governor of the state, Umaru Al-Makura, had expressed joy at the development, pledging his administration’s commitment to providing quality health care to the people through good governance and accountability.

He said that the state government would continue to partner with international donor agencies, with a view to providing interventions that would improve the health of the people, especially those in the rural areas.

He said the government would work tirelessly to ensure that it sustained the project through an executive order to the state assembly that would be gazetted.

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