Press Release

Address of the Honourable Minister of Health, Professor Adewole at the press briefing to launch the Rapid Results Initiative of the Federal Ministry of Health

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I am highly delighted to address you today, on the occasion of the launch of the BETTER HEALTH FOR ALL PROGRAM. The program is a Rapid Results Initiative borne out of the need to respond to the critical needs of the people and deliver on the mandate of promoting health with focus on Access, Affordability and Demand.

The program encapsulates sets of initiatives borne out of the vision of the President Muhammadu Buhari administration to produce quick and visible impacts that will altogether affect the lives of every Nigerian especially the most vulnerable in our society. The goals documented under every result area under the program will challenge our collective and corporate abilities, foster sectoral and inter sectoral collaboration to deliver critical interventions to the people of Nigeria. They are really ambitious goals but certainly ‘doable’ goals meant to keep us all on our toes for the next 100days of implementation.

  1. The Better Health 4 All program is our Rapid Results Initiative (RRI), a concept designed and promoted by the Rapid Results Institute in the United States of America. The RRI model was initially adopted by the social sector and corporate organizations to drive developmental agenda. Further down the line, RRI has been adapted for quick impact in the health sector. The concept is currently being used in the United Kingdom to support the National Health Service (NHS) to expand integrated social and health care to the elderly. It has also been used to support the government of Rwanda, Sierra Leone, Ghana and Kenya in the sub Saharan Africa. It is meant to achieve clearly defined goals within a specified period of time.
  2. Our Rapid Results Initiative, the BH4A, would be deployed in seven major areas that are thought to conform to both local and international health priorities. They are areas that were thought to have significant and visible impact on the lives of our people especially, the most vulnerable in our society. Our well motivated teams are ready to commence work in the following areas;
  3. Revitalization of PHCs
  4. Under this project, we will work to revamp 110 PHCs within the next one hundred days, one in each senatorial district including a facility in Fika Local Government in Niger State, the facility where the index case of Lassa fever was detected in the recent lassa fever outbreak in Nigeria.

A mapping of these facilities has already been carried out by the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA) to assess the levels of human resources, infrastructure, and service delivery in line with basic PHC package, commodities, and equipment as stipulated for a standard PHC in Nigeria. We shall identify those facilities within the senatorial districts for manpower development, conduct reorientation and train staff to man these facilities. Also, Ward Development Committees (WDCs) shall be activated within 110 communities where the PHCs are domiciled so that they shall ensure governance and community mobilization.

We will also embark on the upgrade of infrastructure in 110 facilities in line with the minimum standards for PHCs in Nigeria. Functional supply and logistics system for essential PHC drugs and commodities through Drug Revolving Funds (DRF) would be set up in the 110 facilities.

Other cadres of health workforce have been identified and will be deployed to these facilities.

  1. The ultimate goal of the PHC – RRI is to ensure that 110 PHC Centres (one in each senatorial district plus the Fuka PHC in Niger State are made functional to deliver quality PHC services that will lead to increased antenatal care coverage and skilled birth attendance as well as increase in immunization coverage for 3 childhood killer diseases. Functionality of these PHC facilities is defined by the Minimum Standards for PHC in Nigeria.

b. Mutual Health Assurance

  1. This RRI goal is closely related to the uptake of the services within the PHCs and in line with the commitment of this administration to the principle of Universal Health Coverage (UHCs) which is the global best practice. We will set out to inaugurate Mutual Health Associations (MHAs) at community levels to enable them access affordable health care.
  2. Mutual Health Associations (MHAs) are privately or publicly incorporated body registered by the National Health Insurance Scheme solely to access health care services through health care facilities accredited by the scheme. They are not for profit organization but formed on the basis of solidarity and collective pooling of health risk by community members governed by their constitutions and bye laws. Members of such organization take part in its management.
  3. The RRI goal here is to have by the end of October 2016, at least 30 MHAs described above disbursing funds to facilities to access health care services.

C. Treatment of 200,000 Severely Acutely Malnourished children.

As we all know, malnutrition has a devastating health effect in children especially as it pertains to their physical and intellectual growth.

  1. These effects can particularly be important in the first few years of life when they are rapidly growing and have a great need of calories and nutrients. Apart from extreme weight loss, stunted growth, weakened resistance to infection and in extreme cases death. Malnutrition has also been shown to impair cognitive function in children.
  2. Malnutrition especially in children has continued to attract international and local attention. Acute malnutrition is a life threatening situation and silent emergency killer in under-5 children.

Nigeria contributes 7% out of the 36% chronic malnutrition in the world, and ranks Ist in Africa and 2nd in the world.

Nigeria’s global acute malnutrition rate is > 10% in U5 and this calls for emergency feeding programme.


ZONES Stunting (%) Wasting (%) Underweight (%)
North Central 29.3 11.7 18.5
North East 42.3 19.5 30.8
North West 54.8 27.1 47.4
South East 16.0 11.9 11.4
South-South 18.3 11.1 12.8
South West 22.2 10.0 14.9


  1. Based on the above indices, there is an urgent need to intervene with an emergency feeding programme while we work on long term solution.

The RRI project on treatment of 200,000 Severe Acutely Malnourished (SAM) children under 5 years is a therapeutic feeding programme (as articulated in the National Strategic Plan of Action for Nutrition) meant for U-5 that are SAM based on the screening criteria.

The Project will work in 28 IDP camps in the North East (4 in Adamawa, 14 in Borno and 10 in Yobe); and 724 PHC facilities implementing the Community Management of Acute Malnutrition (CMAM) in the 12 states

It is expected that the following goals will be achieved at the end of 100days;

  • 50,000 U-5 SAM admitted and treated by the end of July,2016;
  • 70,000 U-5 SAM admitted and treated by the end of July, 2016;
  • 80,000 U-5SAM admitted and treated by the end of July,2016.
  1. On the long run, we shall ensure the implementation of Infant and Young Child Feeding (IYCF) services in all facilities. Local production of the Ready to Use Therapeutic Foods (RUTF) will be encouraged.

d. Surgical intervention component

Under this intervention, 10,000 surgeries, including herniorrhaphy, cleft lip, and palate repairs, myomectomy, hysterectomy, Vescico-Vagina Fistula (VVF) etc would be carried out in 46 tertiary institutions for indigent Nigerians; we have a set of criteria to screen for people who really cannot afford to have these surgeries on their own.

The NHIS platform would be used to carry out these surgeries using the social rates. Therefore, we encourage interested Nigerians to register with NHIS at closest centres to them.

e. Operationalizing the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control

Our goal in this initiative is to have a least one laboratory in each geopolitical region including the Federal Capital Territory  have linkages and referral networks, and are able to collect, process and ship surveillance specimen for testing in laboratories in Nigeria. This goal is particularly important in building a resilient health care system that is able to withstand the devastating effects of disease outbreaks in a multi cultural setting like ours.

These tertiary hospitals are listed as follows;

University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital (South South)

Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital, Kano       (North West)

University of Maiduguri, Borno State( North East)

University of Enugu Teaching Hospital (South East)

Lagos University Teaching Hospital (South West)

Jos University Teaching Hospital (North Central)

Asokoro/ Gwagwalada Specialist Hospital, FCT

f. Screening of 500,000 Nigerians for Diabetes Mellitus (DM)

Nigeria like any other country in Africa and around the world has its fair share of the Non Communicable Diseases notably Diabetes Mellitus. Globally, it was projected that the number of people (age 20yrs-79yrs) with DM worldwide will increase from 382million in 2013 to 592million in 2035, in sub Saharan Africa, people living with DM will increase from 19.8million in 2013 to 41.4million in 2035.  This is largely due to growing urbanization in the world. However, some of these NCDs are preventable by lifestyle modifications if the risk factors are detected early. The Non Communicable Disease division of FMoH will partner with a multinational pharmaceutical company Novo Nordisk to screen about 500,000 Nigerians for diabetes and they would be appropriately referred to facilities that would cater to their needs if that is warranted

g. Transparency and accountability

The Media and Publicity component of the RRI will on ground to engender trust and accountability through media campaigns, creating demands for the utilization of services so provided while monitoring the supply side to ensure that quality services are provided to the people as promised.

Likewise, the monitoring and evaluation division of FMoH will be on ground to develop a set of indicator with which to monitor the progress and impact of the project. Already, a few monitoring tools have been developed for this purpose to ensure that we track the progress we are making towards our stated goals.

Lastly, I will like to encourage everyone to join us in implementing these seven ambitious goals within the next 100 exciting days of interesting challenge. Our successes in these goals will be used in other areas and we can create our stories from this experience.

I thank you all.

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