The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, an international financing and partnership organisation says Nigeria is expected to receive 72 ambulances through the COVID-19 response mechanism.
This is part of its support to strengthen the emergency healthcare response in Nigeria. Dr Jeans-Thomas Niboussi, Senior Portfolio Manager, Global Fund, disclosed this on Monday in Abuja.
The event was the public signing of memorandum of understanding (MoU) for operationalising the National Emergency Medical Service and Ambulance System (MEMSAS), and the launch of implementation Manual by the Federal Ministry of Health (FMOH).
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that NEMSAS is the third Basic Health Care Provision Fund (BHCPF) gateway, which addresses a serious weakness in Nigeria’s health system.
It is estimated that an efficient Emergency Medical Treatment Service can reduce mortality by nearly 50 per cent by reducing delays in physical and financial access, especially at night.
In its quest to support Nigeria in its emergency care, the COVID-19 response mechanism 1.0, had already supported Nigeria with 32 ambulances, which the official noted are currently in the country.
“Another 72 ambulances will be procured in the next few months through the COVID-19 response mechanism grants to Nigeria, to make it possible for Nigerians to call for help in emergency situations, in addition to equipping hospitals through oxygen therapy,” he explained.
He commended Nigeria on its legal framework to support the initiative which would be developed, while calling on the need for its sustainability.
He added that it would be a welcome development to global fund.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) Representative in Nigeria, Dr. Walter Mulombo, said that this year is another milestone in the Nigerian health reform effort towards Universal Health Coverage (UHC) and Health Security in the country.
Mulombo commended the Nigerian Government for bringing the initiative to implementation status and the entire NEMSAS Team for a diligent work done so far.
“As emergency medical services require a coordinated multisectoral approach, it is my wish that the signing of the MoU with relevant government and non-government institutions today will form a solid foundation for a functional emergency system for effective service delivery at the federal and State levels.
“Given the experience of COVID-19 response in recent times, I have no doubts that the FMOH will once again demonstrate the success of this intervention soon, in collaboration with all key stakeholders, including the States, development partners, and the private sector,” he stressed.
He added that WHO, within its mandate, would continue to provide technical support to the Government of Nigeria under the GPW13 and the Nigeria Country Cooperation Strategy which fully covers emergency medical treatment under the triple billion goal.
GPW13 is an ambitious blueprint for WHO reform, which includes how WHO addresses global health challenges, interacts with other international entities and makes itself accountable to governments and other stakeholders.
He therefore called for stronger collective support towards promoting health, keeping the world safe and serving the vulnerable in the country.
Dr Saidu Dumbulwa, National Programme Manager, NEMSAS, FMOH, said the 64th National Council on Health (NCH) approved the collaboration of NEMSAS with partner agencies and sub-national governments, as a Private and Public Sector driven initiative.
According to him, this will utilise existing Private Public medical assets as the mechanism for achieving effective national emergency medical service Provision.
Dumbulwa said that NEMSAS had developed an implementation manual and other strategy guidelines, to define the collaboration with sub-national governments and partner agencies.
“The MoU will be signed with the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC), the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS), the Association of Private Medical Practitioners of Nigeria (AGPMPN), the Guild of Medical Directors (GMD), and the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) for the operationalisation of the immediate Phased roll-out of the Programme starting with the FCT.
“This is to symbolise our collective commitment of partnership as we work in the spirit of inclusiveness to achieve the aspiration of the Nigerian populace, and to deliver Mr President’s Priority agenda and also deliverables of the Honourable Minister.
“Emergency medical systems address a diverse set of diseases along life course, spanning across the spectrum of communicable infections, non-communicable conditions, obstetrics emergency, geriatric emergency and injuries.
“Emergency care must be appreciated as an entire system with interdependent components. These components include pre-hospital care, transportation, and hospital care,” he explained.
According to him, each component is important, but all of them must work together to make a lasting effect on the health of a population. (NAN)