Nigeria And Norway Sign MOU to Improve Maternal And Child Health

The Federal Government of Nigeria, the Norwegian Agency for Development and Cooperation and Clinton Health Access Initiative(CHAI)  have signed a tripartite agreement to the tune of 650 Million US Dollars to meet the funding gap to improve maternal and child health in Nigeria.

The Minister of Health, Prof.C.O.Onyebuchi Chukwu who signed on behalf of the Federal Government of Nigeria said that the Federal Government remain committed to meeting the health specific Millennium Development Goals by 2015.

He said that despite Nigeria has mainstreamed MDGs targets into various National Initiatives and strategies in order to fast track the attainment of MDGs, more efforts continue to be required to attain the goals by the end of 2015

He explained that the development of the Harmonized Country Plan of Priority Interventions for 2014-2015(HCPPI), is one of such initiatives to step up efforts in this regard.

He said that through this plan, Government aim to save an additional 420,000 maternal and children’s lives by 2015 at a total cost of $650 million US Dollars as identified in the Harmonized Country Plan. He added that Government has estimated funding gap of $420 million Dollars.

Prof.Chukwu noted that the tripartite agreement signed represents one of the many efforts to meet the resource gap adding that the impact on the target group is the reduction of maternal and neonatal deaths in three selected states of Kaduna, Kano and Katsina by 40% by 2015.

He said that this translates to approximately 2,961 maternal and 19,825 neonatal additional lives saved.

He decried that there remains a significant funding gap to be met in order to drastically reduce maternal and under 5 mortality in Nigeria.

He said that that the three main objectives of the project are to strengthen national coordination, strengthen state coordination and implement a comprehensive maternal and neonatal health strategy in three of the highest burden northern states of kaduna, Kano and Katsina.

Earlier, the Norwegian Ambassador to Nigeria Rolf Ree in his remarks said that the signing of the agreement is part of the Norwegian commitment to reduce maternal and child deaths in Nigeria.

While assuring his country’s continued collaboration with Nigeria, he said that the signing of the MOU is his country’s intervention to scale up availability of contraceptive commodities for family planning and other he in Nigeria.