The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) has said over $45million has been spent on its Targeted States High Impact Project (T-SHIP) in Sokoto State in the last six years just as lives of 6,313 women and newborns have been saved in Sokoto following the intervention of the project.
Speaking at the end of project dissemination meeting of the project, the Nigeria Mission Director ,USAID, Mr Michael Harvey expressed joy that the project had helped tremendously in reducing child and maternal mortality in the state.
He assured that USAID would partner with the state governments to develop a new project for the benefit of the people.
Also speaking, the Chief of Party ( Director) TSHIP , Dr. Nosa Orobaton, said from 2009 to 2015, the government of Sokoto state and USAID helped in saving lives of 6,313 women and newborns sequel to the success of the project.
He said TSHIP partnership goal one is aimed at supporting the government of Nigeria accelerate progress towards MDG 4 and 5 which are to reduce by two-thirds, between 1990 and 2015, the under-five mortality rate and reduce by three-quarters, between 1990 and 2015, the maternal mortality ratio respectively.
Orobaton, however, said more needed to be done to ensure all women access the life-saving drugs as a right.
In his remarks, Sokoto state governor, Alhaji Aminu Tambuwal said there was the need to strengthen the health systems in the state in order to function at their optimum.
He directed the state ministry of health to expedite action on the take-off of the community mid-wives training programme and to develop a Marshall Plan for the training of up to 3000 community mid-wives.
Tambuwal also revealed plans to reduce the high concentration of health workers in few facilities within the three metropolitan local government areas to reach out to the rest of the state.
“In Sokoto, we face the challenges of human resources, access to health services and supplies. These have in turn resulted in high maternal and infant morbidity and mortality, low immunization coverage, low antenatal attendance and high home deliveries,” he noted.
He assured that the state government having realized these challenges would take over the funding of the Community Based Health Volunteer programme.
“Under the programme, which we hope to review to achieve maximum benefits, the sum of N9.3 million is spent on the volunteers with each being given a stipend of N2, 000. We hope to review that up-ward in due course,” he added.
He expressed appreciation to the US government for its continued support to the people and government through the various development programmes.