Govt to provide free healthcare services to 8 million Nigerians in 2018
THE Federal Government says it will provide free healthcare services to eight million indigent citizens from April to December.
This outreach is in addition to the provision of free surgeries to 10,150 less privileged Nigerians, the government said.
The Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Adewole, disclosed this to newsmen in Abuja after Wednesday’s Federal Executive Council meeting.
The meeting, which lasted for over five hours, was presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari at the Council Chamber of the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
Adewole, who reviewed the activities of his ministry since 2016, stated that antiretroviral services would be offered to 20,000 additional Nigerians this year.
“We plan to offer 10,150 surgeries to poor Nigerians. Last year alone, we succeeded in offering surgeries to 7,900 poor Nigerians.
“In addition to the 7,900 surgeries, we were also able to screen 10,000 people of the 20,000 that we planned to screen.
“We also succeeded during the course of the year to screen 16,000 Nigerians for hepatitis B and C, and also we were able to deworm 60,000 Nigerian children,” he said.
According to him, the federal government will also provide 10,000 free catarrh surgeries as well as a nationwide screening for Cervix and breast cancers, and offer antiretroviral treatments to 20,000 more Nigerians.
On National Health Act, he said his ministry had since constituted all necessary committees and would soon kick-start the implementation of the Basic Healthcare Provision Fund in three states of the federation.
Adewole briefed State House correspondents alongside the Minister of Water Resources, Alhaji Suleiman Adamu; and Minister of State for Works 1, Alhaji Mustapha Shehuri, as well as the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Mr Audu Ogbeh.
The minister of water resources disclosed that the council approved N14.5 billion for the completion of Gari water project in Jigawa and Kano states.
Adamu said the approval was in line with the federal government’s plan to boost irrigation scheme by 100,000 hectares across the country by 2020.
According to him, the project is graded high among the projects the federal government intended to complete in the 24 months, adding that Kano and Jigawa states are the beneficiaries of the project.
On his part, Shehuri said the council approved the reconstruction of 30 of the 63-km Hadejia-Nguru road at the cost of N10.5 billion.
Similarly, Ogbeh said the ministry successfully carried out pest control programmes along the 11 frontline states.
The minister said the exercise had assisted in safeguarding farm produce from the menace of quela birds and locust invasions.