May 30, 2015 – Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) in collaboration with the Lagos State Ministry of Health has launched the pro-poor community health project; a project that focuses on strengthening outreach services in communities and encourages members of the community to take advantage of health care services provided at the primary health centers (PHCs).
Speaking at the launching ceremony former Special Adviser on Health, Dr. Yewande Adeshina explained that the pro-poor community health project commenced in year 2014 and that it is expected to run through year 2018 adding that the aim is to expand and improve the concept of universal health coverage, reduce child morbidity and mortality and improve maternal health.
She added that the project which is presently being implemented in Eti-Osa LGA is targeted at poor communities where lack of finance, poor accessibility to health services and limited knowledge about health services amongst others is inhibiting unfettered access to health services.
Also Speaking, the Chief Resident Representative of JICA, Mr. Hirotaka Nakamura noted that JICA’s activities in the health sector is hinged on maternal, newborn and child health and strengthening the health system in Nigeria.
He added that the agency’s activities is evident by past projects which include improvement of maternal, newborn and child health from 2010 to 2014.
He noted that the first phase of JICA health project was aimed at providing intervention to health care providers and training of midwives on antenatal care and other activities to improve the operating environment.
Hirotaka added that the first phase of the intervention is through capacity building for health committees at the ward level, health education for male and community needs assessment, stressing that one of the outcomes of the first phase revealed that more women had enrolled for antenatal care adding however that a number of women still prefer to deliver at home instead of using health facilities.