The Federal Ministry of Health has launched Rapid Result Initiative programme tagged “Better Health for all” designed to produce quick and visible impact that would affect the lives of every Nigerian especially the most vulnerable and poor in the society.
Briefing the press, in Abuja, the Minister of Health, Professor Isaac Adewole said that the set targeted goals are ambitious, but certainly doable and would keep the top management of the Federal Ministry of Health on their toes in the next 100 days of implementation.
He said that the Rapid Result Initiative would be deployed in seven major areas that would conform to both local and international health priorities.
On revitalisation of Primary Healthcare Centres, Adewole said under this project that the Federal Ministry of Health would work to revamp 110 Primary Health Centres (PHCs) within the next 100 days, one in each senatorial district including a facility in Fuka Local Government in Niger State.
The Minister said that Fuka community suffered high case fatality from Lassa fever due to cultural interpretation of the cause of the disease.
“During my unscheduled visit to Fuka, I noticed that there was no functional PHC to offer basic health care and I promised that the Federal Government will provide a functional facility, today as we speak the Fuka PHC is ready for commissioning,” the minister said.
Adewole said that the ministry was to also inaugurate Mutual Health Associations at community level to improve access to affordable and qualitative health care.
The Mutual Health Associations are either privately or publicly incorporated body registered by the National Health Insurance Scheme solely to access health care service through health care facilities accredited by the scheme, he explained.
Speaking on malnourished children in North – East, the Minister said that Rapid Response Initiative would focus on treating 200,000 Severe Acute Malnourished children who are under five years of age in the North-East region of the country.
Speaking on its surgical intervention component, Adewole explained that 10,000 surgeries, including cleft lip and palate repairs, myomectomy, hysterectomy, Vescico-vagina Fistula (VVF) amongst others would be carried out in 46 federal tertiary institutions for indigent patients.
In a bid to operationalise the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, he said that the initiative was to have at least one laboratory in each geopolitical region including the Federal Capital Territory.
The designated hospital as laboratories were University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital; Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital, Kano; University Of Maiduguri Teaching Hospital, Borno State; University of Enugu Teaching Hospital, Enugu State; Lagos University Teaching Hospital; Jos University Teaching Hospital; and Asokoro/ Gwagwalada Specialist Hospital, FCT.
On screening of Nigerians for Major Diseases, he said that Ministry is partnering with Novo Nordisk to screen about 500,000 Nigerians for diabetes and they would be appropriately referred to facilities that would cater for their needs if that warranted.
He assured, however that the Media and Publicity component of Rapid Response Initiative would be on ground to engender trust and accountability through media campaigns and close monitoring of the programme to ensure that quality services were provided to the people as promised.
It is pertinent to state that all the above mentioned services and interventions will be provided to the members of the public free of charge.