The Minister of Health, Professor Isaac Adewole, has announced that the Federal Government has conducted a total number of 4,349 surgeries and 17, 793 health screenings to poor Nigerians across the country.
The ministry had set a target to deliver 10,150 free surgeries and screenings to help alleviate the sufferings of the poorest Nigerians who cannot afford to pay.
In addition to this, the ministry also carried out over 200,000 nutritional interventions to Nigerians suffering from malnutrition in the north east. The intervention has since scaled to become a full fledged project, the Health Sector Nutrition and Emergency Response delivering a set of comprehensive health interventions and emergency services in the troubled region.
In the words of the Minister, “Government must pay for those who cannot afford healthcare”.
Adewole said that the programme is a promise kept by President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration, which has a pro-poor universal health coverage agenda.
The Minister said that the programme tagged “Better Health for All” is still on going and will be scaled up in the year, 2017.
“You would recall that in July, 2016 the Federal Ministry of Health launched the Rapid Result Initiative (RRI) Programme to carry out surgeries and screening to indigent Nigerians across the country.
“The programme was borne out of plan to respond to the critical needs of the people and deliver on the mandate of promoting health with focus on access, affordability and demand,” he said.
Adewole said that the programme encapsulates a set of initiatives developed as a strategy to actualise the vision of the present administration to produce quick and visible impacts that will affect the lives of every Nigerian especially the most vulnerable and the poor in our society.
The six components of the programme include surgical interventions, screening of Nigerians for major diseases, revitalisation of PHCs, Mutual health assurance, treatment of 200,000 severely acutely malnourished children and operationalising the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control.
The programme sought to deliver 10,150 surgeries to indigent Nigerians among which are herniorrhaphy 4,240, cataract extraction 2,300, cleft lip & palate repair 450, club foot repair 100, keloid cryotherapy 80, VVF Repair 300, myomectomy /hysterectomy 840, hydrocoelectomy 840 and correction of refractive errors and glasses 1000. The health screenings cover 22,000 cancer screening: 10,000 cervical, 10,000 breast and 2,000 prostate, 42,000 Diabetes Mellitus screening; 42,000 Hepatitis B Virus Screening as well as 60,000 mass de-worming.