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Health Act new exit Strategy for SURE-P CCT

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By Ndidi Chukwu

Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT) incentive adopted in 2013 to attract pregnant women to access health care facilities through the Subsidy Reinvestment Programme, SURE-P may find exist root with new health act.

Falling oil prices indicates that the CCT five thousand naira incentives to pregnant women who access health care services for antenatal, delivery, immunisation and family planning may die natural death. Dr. Ugo Okoli, Project Director National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA) /SURE-P Maternal Child Health is pessimistic over possible access to funds for CCT, due to declining oil prices.

“Funds may not be coming as it used to due to the falling oil price and when you don’t pay health workers, how do you expect them to work” Okoli told health Stakeholders at a policy dialogue session on Maternal Health in Nigeria.

Exit strategy in the light of falling oil prices may cause a natural death for SURE-P programmes, Okoli explained that  “when SURE-P started the federal government made it clear that it will run between 2012-2015, it was very clear that they want to make an example of what they will use the subsidy funds to do and it is not just in maternal health they have done it in every sector so 2015 is next year, naturally we have to start thinking about the exit strategy and what we are also facing now is the fall in oil prizes and the very possible removal of oil subsidy in everything so we really have to start thinking about these exit strategies with the States because majority of the population we are serving are in the state so what can they do with the funds they are receiving, what can they do in partnership with NHIS and NPHCDA in terms of the new health act to help improve the services they provide in terms of health care”

Advocacy may be taken to states to support the SURE-P CCT for sustainability, Okoli said “Now there is a fund within the health act, 50 percent if it goes to the National Health Insurance Scheme, and the key thing is insuring that we have a community based health insurance. We are hoping that the NHIS will come up with a frame work on how they can utilize the funds to ensure that the population that they are funding for health insurance increases as of now they are not very huge, and the other 45 percent is on drugs, human resources for health, and building the health system which will go to National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA)”

So far the SURE-P CCT programme according to Okoli has disbursed over 69 million naira to its beneficiaries.

“As at July 2014 we have disbursed about 69 million naira  across the country to the women that have actually fulfilled their own core responsibility because that is the basis for them to receive funds from us, like I also said, it is evidenced in the outcomes that we are beginning to see”

Collated individual reports from communities, shows that the CCT recorded successes,” We have an increase from the baseline of 81 percent of people now using SURE-P maternal health facilities and a 32 percent increase in women delivering coming back to deliver at the facility, we are very fascinated and  we are very happy about it that women now complete the session, from accessing antenatal care they come for delivery and also immunize their children in the facility and at the end they come for family planning it is almost 82 percent increase from what we used to see before” said Okoli
“We are tracking the decline in maternal death from communities where we are serving and it is almost like 60 percent decline”

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