European Union, WHO and UNICEF partner with Government of Nigeria to strengthen health systems and eradicate polio

Nigerias Minister of Health (left) and EU Ambassador signing the documents for the 70 million euros grant Nigerias Minister of Health (left) and EU Ambassador signing the documents for the 70 million euros grant

Abuja, 16 February 2017 - Today, the Executive Governors of Adamawa, Anambra, Bauchi, Kebbi and Sokoto joined the Honorable Minister of Health, Professor Isaac Adewole in signing a 70 million Euro European Union grant to support the health sector in Nigeria.

Speaking during the official launch and signing ceremony in Abuja, Professor Isaac Adewole explained that the EU funded project would support maternal, newborn and child health, strengthen Nigeria's health system and support eradication of the poliovirus in the country. The Project is the phase 1 - seventy million euro (twenty-three billion Naira) support from the European Union to the Health Sector under the 11th European Development Fund and will be jointly implemented by United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the World Health Organization (WHO) in partnership with the Federal Government of Nigeria and the target states.

Fifty (50) million euro of the grant disbursed through UNICEF aims to ensure that by 2020, 80 per cent of the wards in Adamawa, Bauchi and Kebbi states will have  functional primary health care centers, providing round-the-clock services to three million children under the age of five years as well as to almost a million pregnant women and lactating mothers. Twenty (20) million euro, disbursed through WHO will support the strengthening of health care systems towards achieving universal health coverage in Anambra and Sokoto states, and support efforts to eradicate polio from Nigeria.

Michel Arrion, the EU Ambassador to Nigeria and to ECOWAS, said at the event, “The European Union is working together with the Nigerian authorities to address developmental challenges in key priority areas under its 11th European Development Fund. This project will help to improve access to effective health and nutrition in the prioritized states and support the final push to eradicate polio in Nigeria”.

According to the Ambassador, “The focus is especially on providing services to poor, marginalized, rural women and children, saving the lives of mothers and children and improving their health and nutrition through a sustainable primary health care delivery system.”

The grant disbursed through WHO is to support health systems strengthening efforts in Nigeria towards achieving universal health coverage and improved health outcomes through improved data analysis and information dissemination capabilities, health expenditure estimation, reduction in financial barriers to health care and to increase and sustain herd immunity against polio in polio priority states.

Thanking the EU for on-going commitment, Dr Wondimagegnehu Alemu, WHO Country Representative, said, “Our partnership with the EU will enable the organization to continue providing the necessary technical support to the government of Nigeria towards strengthening health systems and enhancing timely interventions during supplemental immunization activities, including reaching children in areas with  insecurity in the northeast.”

Specifically, with this funding, WHO will support the Nigerian government to Improve local institutional capacity in Anambra and Sokoto states. Furthermore, it will facilitate the strengthening of quality of health and nutrition information for decision-making as well as contribute to maintaining polio-free status in non-polio infected states.

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Below:

01. Nigerias Minister of Health (left) and EU Ambassador signing the documents for the 70 million euros grant

02. The WR delivering a goodwill message at the event

03. Minister (middle) flanked by Governors of Bauchi ﹠ Sokoto while EU Ambassador (2nd right) and WR (1st left) look on

Nigeria