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USAID support to boost primary healthcare in Nigeria, 4 African countries

by Haruna Gimba
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By Asmau Ahmad

Nigeria is among five countries that will benefit from annual funding of over $415 million from the United States to accelerate primary health care.

The support, announced by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) during the Africa Leaders’ Summit, will help Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, Kenya, Malawi and Nigeria to boost their health services.

In a statement, USAID said, “we will support them by an average of $415 million annually to enhance coordination, harmonise investment approaches and demonstrate measurable improvements in primary healthcare outcomes,” reads the statement.

The announcement follows USAID’s recent launch of the Accelerating Primary Health Care Collaborative, which brings together experts from across USAID to define a cohesive primary healthcare approach for the agency and facilitate information exchange, technical integration, and coordination to accelerate impacts.

Improve life expectancy, Resilient primary health care-oriented systems, anchored by a robust and well-supported health workforce, can improve life expectancy, increase health equity and respond intuitively to disease outbreaks and emerging health threats, USAID noted.

According to USAID, a majority of services it supports are delivered as components of primary health care. Advancing integration of essential health services at the primary care level, it says, will enable the delivery of “whole person” care across an individuals’ life stages.

The COVID-19 pandemic resulted in the largest global reduction in life expectancy in a century.

A renewed focus on primary health care, USAID noted, is an opportunity for it and partner countries to reclaim lost ground from the pandemic and foster resilience and preparedness against future health threats.

Medical Services Principal Secretary Peter Tum, in an earlier function, said that the Ministry of Health is keen to ensure that primary health care services reach those who need them in good time by supporting devolution and collaborating with counties.

“We will always take the health care services closer to communities and that’s our core goal,” Mr Tum said. 

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