The Federal Government has selected six Local Government areas in Plateau State for a SURE-P pilot scheme expected to commence soon.
A Consultant on the programme, Mr Adepiti John, disclosed this in Jos on Friday at a one-day sensitisation workshop for newly-elected local government chairmen in the state.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the selected LGAs are Mangu, Barkin Ladi, Mikang, Kanke, Riyom and Pankshin.
“SURE-P has a healthcare delivery programme which will help in transforming LGAs across the country, and the programme has selected a few of them to kick-start the scheme,” John said.
He said the aim of the workshop was to afford the newly-elected chairmen the opportunity to create awareness among their people, especially women, in accessing healthcare facilities.
“Once women can access the healthcare facilities in their locality, the issue of maternal and child mortality at the grassroots will be reduced.
“Nigeria ranked second in the global record of maternal and child mortality with over 33,000 deaths annually, and this must be curtailed,” the consultant said.
John said over 36 per cent of pregnant women do not go for antenatal care, and this has resulted in complications during pregnancy and delivery.
“Unless something drastic is done, the over one million deaths of children, whose ages were lower than five years, being recorded annually will likely shoot up,” the consultant said.
He listed malaria, pneumonia and low birth rate, amongst other child-killer diseases, as major causes of death among the children younger than five years of age.
The State Information Commissioner, Mrs Olivia Dazyem, described the workshop as timely, saying it would provide the opportunity for the council leaders to focus on the challenges ahead of them.
Dazyem thanked the federal government for the selection of six LGAs in the state for the programme’s pilot scheme.
Speaking in separate interviews, the Chairmen of Mangu and Pankshin local governments, Caleb Mutfwang and Samuel Goar, expressed delight at the choice of their councils for the SURE-P pilot scheme.