Enugu flags-off distribution of commodities to health centres

Enugu State Government has commenced the distribution of ” Saving One Million Lives ( Programme for Results) ,SOML(P or R)” health commodities to health centres in the 17 local government areas of the state.

Declaring the event open, at the Uwani General hospital, Enugu, on Wednesday, the deputy governor of Enugu state, Mrs Cecilia Ezeilo, said SOML (P for R) is focused on interventions that address the leading cause of morbility and mortality.
It ‘s aimed at improving maternal and child health.

According to her, “SOML(P for R) under whose auspices these commodities and interventions are being distributed today , is an elaborate scheme to expand access to essential primary healthcare services for women and children.

” It’s components aim at improving maternal, newborn and child health, improving routine immunization coverage and eradicating poliomyelitis, prevention of mother to child transmission of HIV, scaling up access to essential medicines, malarial control, improving child nutrition , strengthening logistics and supply chain management and promoting innovation and use of technology in primary healthcare”

The deputy governor urged the benefitting primary health centres to ensure proper use and application of the commodities to guarantee their optimal penetration to the most vulnerable groups and individuals.”

Ezeilo commended Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi ” for approving and bankrolling the continuation of the SOML(P for R) in our state ” She also thanked the World bank and the World Health Organisation for their funding and technical assistance.
The deputy governor also thanked the SOML(P for R) Secretariat and the State ministry of health for successfully midwifing the critical interventions

In her address, the State Programme manager, Enugu Saving One Million Lives P for R, Dr Ifeyinwa Ugwunweze said the program is a federal government maternal and child health program, supported by the World bank, which provides incentives based on achievement of results ( health outcomes) and not inputs.

” It is the incentive attached with the results that helps to drive institutional processed needed to achieve better results
” The SOML Initiative was launched by the then President of Nigeria , Good luck Jonathan in October , 2012 in response to the poor health outcomes in the country, particularly for mother’s and children.

“SOML was born out of the fact that so much resources have gone into maternal and child health with minimal results observed in terms of our indices of maternal mortality and infant mortality.”

According to her, the program is to increase the utilization and quality of reproductive , child health and nutrition interventions.’
The program covers six areas including, vaccination coverage among young children(penta3), contraceptive prevalence rate( modern method, vitamin A supplementation among children ,6 months to 5 years, skilled birth attendance, HIV counselling and testing among women attending antenatal care and use of insecticide treated nets by children .

Ugwunweze said that “Enugu state government has established and operationalised the state SOML for Result in line with federal government and World bank guidelines and has graciously provided an enabling environment for the smooth running of SOML in Enugu.

She lamented that” SOML in Enugu has achieved a lot in the past but was unable to get the incentives attached to the results.

The program manager said that Enugu SOML has implemented some activities under the programme’s six pillars. The activites include , procurement and distribution of test kits, of HIV, Advocacy, malaria contr, family planning, COVID-19 support,supervision, community mobilization, renovation of health facilities, sinking of boreholes in selected communities

In her address, the Malaria Elimination manager, Ministry of Health, Agbo Obageli said that “SOML Progtamme for Result contributed immensely in the elimination of malaria in Enugu.”

She advised that children who are less than five years, pregnant women, People living with sickle cell, foreigners and HIV positive people should seek medical care p immediately they present with symptoms of malaria .

The SOML commodities to be distributed to selected Primary Health Centres across the 17 local government areas were HIV test kits, long lasting insecticide treated mosquito nets, family planning commodities, personal protective equipment gowns, face masks and other non pharmaceutical COVID-19 commodities.

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