The European Union has said that a total of N89.80bn was invested in the Nigerian health sector within the last 17 years.
This was contained in a statement signed by the National Team Leader, European Union Support to Immunisation Governance in Nigeria, Dr. Yisa Ibrahim, a copy of which was made available to our correspondent in Abuja.
The Head of Cooperation of the European Union Delegation to Nigeria and ECOWAS, Mr Kurt Cornelis, said in the statement that the EU invested over N68.16bn (€ 200m) to develop the heath sector in Nigeria between 2002 and 2019. The statement added that another N21.64bn (€63.5) was also invested in another health project, which benefitted 23 states in the country.
While highlighting the importance of EU investments in the sector, Cornelis added that more than 200,000 children died annually because of failure to reach them for vaccination.
He stressed that EU’s support had helped Nigeria move closer to Sustainable Development Goals.
Cornelis said, “The EU exceeded over N68.16bn (€ 200m) in pure health sector development investments in Nigeria between 2002 and 2019. Unfortunately, more than 200,000 children die annually due to diseases that can be prevented through vaccination. Through our support in the health sector, we contribute to improving the health sector, which helped Nigeria to improve its performance in order to attain some of the targets of the Sustainable Development Goals that are important to the 2030 sustainable development agenda.”
The statement also noted that the EU project, which benefitted 23 states in Nigeria, was implemented by the National Primary Health Care Development Agency between 2011 and 2019. It stated that the project came to an end on Tuesday.
The states that benefitted from the project are Abia, Akwa-Ibom, Anambra, Bauchi, Cross River, Edo, Ebonyi, Gombe, Jigawa, Kaduna, Kano, Katsina, Kebbi, Kogi, Kwara, Lagos, Ogun, Osun, Plateau, Rivers, Sokoto, Yobe, Zamfara and the Federal Capital Territory.
EU said its support to Nigeria had enhanced immunisation coverage and polio eradication activities.
The statement added, “The European Union Support to the Immunisation Governance project enhanced immunisation logistics by building the capacity of 1036 health workers and managers for routine immunisation. It also supported polio eradication activities and expanded the vaccine cold chain and storage capacity with 757 solar direct-drive solar refrigerators, 46 new and renovated cold stores and health facilities, as well as 29 four-wheel-drive vehicles.
“The project is embedded in the NPHCDA and it is implemented by public officials to ensure there is sustainability and accountability within the government system so government workers can continue to implement the strategies even after EU support ends.”