Abuja - The Minister of State for Health, Dr
Muhammad Pate says government is committed to saving one million lives
by 2015 through increased access to cost-effective health services and
Pate said this in Abuja on Sunday at the UN Commission’s meeting on live-saving commodities for women and children.
"In Nigeria, we believe that saving lives is the ultimate goal for
our collective efforts in the health sector and this should be the
yardstick for measuring our success in this endeavour.
"This is why we have initiated a national programme aimed at saving
one million lives by 2015 through equitable increasing access to and
utilisation of quality cost-effective basic health services and
commodities," he said
He said the government was committed to enhancing access to
life-saving commodities for women and children as well as improving the
The minister said the meeting would discuss issues and challenges in
providing access to under-utilised commodities, develop milestones and
targets for effective monitoring of implementation.
He said the objective was to share information on the UN commission’s
recommendations and implementation plan and to review the draft
implementation plan and to reflect country priorities and needs.
The meeting would also launch the Nigeria’s saving one million lives programme.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), reports that the UN Commission
approved 10 recommendations to support improved and equitable access to
selected life-saving commodities.
It was launched globally as part of the Every Woman, Every Child (EWEC) movement on September 26.
The recommendations are: shaping global markets, shaping local
delivery markets, innovative financing, quality strengthening and
Others included: supply and awareness, demand and utilisation,
reaching women and children, performance and accountability and product
Prof. Babatunde Osotimehin, the Executive Director, UNFPA, said the
meeting would ensure that live saving commodities would be available for
those that needed it.
Osotimehin, who also chaired the meeting, said such declaration
became necessary due to the high rate of maternal mortality, adding that
2012 would see more action.
He noted that the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) were mainly
about women and children’s health, adding that the recommendation would
enable the country to achieve the goals.
"We cannot talk about gender equality when women are dying from
preventable health issues, I am glad that the world is talking about
family planning and are moving into action," he said.
Osotimehin said the supply chain management system in the country was weak, saying that the UN system would assist in that area.
He called on the media to monitor money budgeted for health
programmes as well as hold the government accountable to ensure that
resources were used as excepted.
Mr Daouda Toure, the UN Resident Coordinator, said the EWEC launched
in 2011 was to improve access to essential but unavailable or
under-utilsed health supplies that could save the lives of millions of
women and children.
Toure said the UN system in Nigeria would work to bring the
initiative to the people who were to benefit from the recommendation.
"The UN system is ready to cooperate with the government to
contribute to saving six million lives by 2015 through its home grown saving one million lives programme to be launched as part of this
He said the meeting would assist to further articulate the country
specific implementation plans and actions as a follow up to the
commissioner’s report and global implementation pan.
Toure said the countries present at the meeting were Democratic
Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Rwanda, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Tanzania and