Kwara State Governor, AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq has approved the immediate payment of N232 million counterpart fund to deepen access to primary health care, health insurance and nutrition for children under the age of three.
Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, Rafiu Ajakaye said this in the statement on Tuesday in Ilorin.
According to him, N100 million will go for counterpart funds for Basic Health care Provision Funds, BHPV; N50 million for Accelerating Nutrition Results in Nigeria, ANRIN; and N82 million to access global grants for malaria.
Ajakaye said the release of the counterpart funds for BHPV would grant Kwara access to the World Bank/Federal Government’s grant to cater for health needs of pregnant and nursing women and children.
“Access to such funds will help combat the 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,” Ajakaye added.
He also said the counterpart funds for ANRIN would grant Kwara 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 said 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. These children are key to the bright future that this governor 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,” he said.
According to him, 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.
The release of the counterpart funds for health care came alongside the payment of N450 million to the Universal Basic Education Commission, which the agency insisted was diverted by the last administration.
That diversion had led to the blacklisting of the state from funds meant to boost access to education.