By Ndidichukwu Odoh
The Nigerian Government on Thursday said it will ensure accountable and transparent utilization of Basic Health Care Provision Fund.
Dr. Donald Meribole, Director Planning Research and Statistics (DPRS) of the Federal Ministry of Health during the commemoration of 2019 MamaYe Day, said the Ministry of health and members of the National Steering committee is working hard to ensure that the funds allocated to Basic Health Care is well utilized.
Meribole in a panel discussion “Entrenching accountability for effective utilization of BHCPF to improve health care services” said the Health Ministry has taken time to plan a robust disbursement plan which will be difficult for anyone to embezzle funds made for Primary Health Care.
“ what we did was to invite all stakeholders to be in the Steering Committee and we mapped out a very good plan that enables us track how the Basic Health Care Fund is disbursed down to Facilities and we will also ensure that the facilities use the funds to give care to Nigerians” He said.
According to him, “the direct disbursement of the funds from the Central Bank to state’s Single Treasury Account (TSA) enables every department and partners to track and ensure the funds are released on time and adequate”
He stated that the goal is to ensure that every Nigerian is able to access efficient and quality basic health care services in all primary health facilities without paying for it.
“the Huwe fund will be disbursed directly to the accounts of the Primary Health Care facilities” Meribole told participants.
“Accountability should not just be from top to bottom, but also from bottom to top where everyone is holding the other accountable” said Director of Preston Health Care, Dr Nkemdili Ene who made a presentation on the Importance of Accountability to Reproductive, Maternal, Newborn Child and Adolescent Health plus Nutrition (RMNCAH+N) in Nigeria.
Effective funding for RMNCAH+N programs is what Nigeria requires at the moment but Dr. Ene emphasized that it is important for all stakeholders implementing make judicious use of funds and should be able to give accounts.
Mamaye Country Director, Dr. Tunde Segun said Nigerians must be sensitized to know what the Basic Health Care Provision Fund is and when to demand for their rights during visits to Primary Health Care facilities.
“We cannot talk about accountability without transparency, questions must be asked to those with the mandate to deliver service and answers must be provided” said Segun.