The United States of America (USA) through its various programmes, spends about $450m yearly on health related aid to Nigeria, Mr Michael Harvey disclosed yesterday.
Michael, who is the USAID/Nigeria mission director, gave the figure while responding to questions at the Targeted States High Impact Project (TSHIP) end of project information dissemination meeting in Sokoto.
According to him, the USA has great concern over health issues in Nigeria and in the northern Nigeria in particular.
Michael, stressed that they are celebrating the lives saved, the healthier households built and the durable bonds established between the states in which they carried out interventions. He also stated that, USAID through TSHIP has spent $89m in Sokoto and Bauchi states from 2009 to 2015.
He stressed that they were satisfied with how the people of Sokoto State accepted their programmes, adding that, the former governor, Aliyu Magatakarda Wamakko, had la!d an exceptional foundation for the state to move forward quickly in the health sector.
The mission director decried the shortage of staff, especially the female folk, as one of the greatest challenges they experienced in Sokoto State in the course of the six-year TSHIP programme. He called on the government to expedite effort to bridge the gap.
On the lamentations by many, that ending TSHIP projects in Sokoto State might cause pains because of its numerous gains, Mr Michael said, they would continue to build on what they had done.
Speaking on his part, Governor Aminu Tambuwal assured that they would continue to partner with USAID and other donor agencies for their sustained role in the nation’s health sector.
While disclosing that the state government would continue with the funding of its community-based health volunteers, Tambuwal hinted that they would soon develop a marshal plan for the training of 3,000 community midwives.
Earlier, in her goodwill, the wife of Kebbi State governor, Dr Zainab Atiku Bagudu advised that, Nigeria should collectively make women and children health needs very visible and measurable so that it can be addressed.
“To archive this, all governments need to seriously consider a health agenda that includes universal health coverage. Scientists, physicians and researchers in the region have a duty to improve on data collection. It is only with credible data that we can expect effective interventions and sustainable development to come”.
Dr Zainab therefore called on USAID to extend some of its programmes to Kebbi State.