Lagos State Commissioner for Health, Dr. Jide Idris has restated the State government’s commitment to support the “Partnership for Advocacy in Child and Family Health (PACFaH)” project, an innovative intervention being implemented by eight leading Nigerian Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) for the purpose of tackling problems facing the advancement of Child and Family health in Nigeria.
Disu, who disclosed this on Monday while receiving members of the Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeriawho were on an advocacy visit to the Ministry, lauded the aim of the project which seeks to advance government’s commitment to policy implementation and domestic financing in nutrition, family planning, childhood killer diseases and routine immunization.
He noted that PACFaH project focuses on four main issues, Child killer diseases-Pneumonia and Diarrhoea; Routine Immunization; Nutrition and Family Planning which are all in tandem with the child survival intervention policy of the State Government.
While commending PSN for advocating for support and encouraging the Government to reduce the under-5 mortality rate and improving health outcomes for Childhood Pneumonia and Diarrhea in Nigeria, Idris stated that the implementation of the recently passed Health Insurance Bill is important to the success of any health project or programme.
He advocated the need for universal health coverage in the country, especially universal and compulsory health insurance for citizens as a way of widening access to health, adding that the State Government has passed a law on Health Insurance Scheme last year June which operation will commence soon.
The Commissioner hinted that a committee is already in place to work out modalities for the implementation of the scheme, indicating that compulsory contribution is the means to the success of the scheme.
Earlier, the President of the Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria (PSN), Mr. Ahmed Yakasai applauded the Commissioner for efficient, qualitative, effective, equitable and affordable health care service delivery in Lagos State.
He stated that the objectives of the advocacy visit is to appreciate the present administration for the Health allocation in the 2016 Lagos State budget which is about 10% of the State’s total budget and to inform the Commissioner about the background, activities future plans of the PSN – PACFaH Project in the State.
He listed other objectives of the visit to include exchange of ideas on areas where the PSN-PACFaH project can support the Lagos State Government in attaining the goal of drastically reducing and ending child mortality from pneumonia and diarrhea to enlist the support of the Commissioner for the #EndPneumonia #EndDiarrhea campaign the in the State.
According to Yakasai, “a major component of the PSN-PACFaH project is to increase the capacity of indigenous Civil Society and Community and Faith-Based Organisations to conduct advocacy and track budgetary allocation for the procurement of child health commodities which will invariably lead to proper management of these preventable child killer diseases”.
He stated that the PACFaH project is an innovative program that kicked-off in July 2015 when the component of the project began in Lagos, stressing that a key strategy adopted by PSN to achieve the goals of the project is to build coalition of indigenous CSOs that will, together with PSN carry out the advocacy.
Also present at the occasion were representatives of various faith based organization, top rated producers of under-five pharmaceutical products, key members of PSN in Lagos State and representatives of the entire PSN- PACFaH project in Lagos.