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Ebonyi State Government Sustains USAID Momentum Safe Surgery Project

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Ebonyi State Government Southeast Nigeria has assured the sustainability of various health intervention projects of United States Agency for International Development (USAID), especially that of the Momentum Safe Surgery in Family Planning and Obstetrics (MSSFPO) led by Engender Health.

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The State Commissioner for Health, Dr Moses Ekuma disclosed this during the Ebonyi State Sustainability and Scale- Up event organized by Momentum Safe Surgery in Family Planning and Obstetrics led by Engender Health, at Cirenes Hotel in Abakaliki the State Capital.

Dr Ekuma said Ebonyi State Government led by Mr Francis Nwifuru has already started the sustainability of those various health interventions by USAID Momentum Safe Surgery Project by recruitment and training of medical and health workers in all the General hospitals in the State.

The Commissioner said the Governor didn’t stop at that, he is also equiping the hospitals as well. “Over 13,000 Ebonyi people are now into health insurance scheme to access healthcare almost free of charge”

“In the leadership mantra of the Governor of Ebonyi State which is improving the healthcare delivery for Ebonyi people is one of the paramount agenda , the Governor has started the sustainability even as the health project of momentum safe surgery is gradually getting to close up the project in some of the benefiting states”

” I have noted their plight of provision of manpower in the health workforce, provision of medical consumables and taking over the project in the State. I want to assure you that Ebonyi State Government has started doing that even before now”. Ekuma said.

The Monitoring Evaluation Research and Learning MERL Manager for USAID Momentum Project led by engender health, Mr Jumare Abdul’azeez during his presentation said Momentum Safe Surgery in Family Planning and Obstetrics is part of a suite of innovative awards funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) to holistically improve maternal, newborn, and child health services, voluntary family planning, and reproductive health (MNCH/FP/RH) care in partner countries around the world.

It is mainly for Strengthening surgical safety in maternal health care and voluntary
family planning programs.

“The project’s vision and strategy build on the global safe surgery and health system building block frameworks, which demonstrate the interdependent resources, skills, and interventions needed to deliver surgical maternal health and Family Planning care and promote a functional safe surgery ecosystem”. Abdul’azeez informed.

KEY APPROACHES

The MERL Manager further explained that Momentum Safe Surgery in Family Planning and Obstetrics activities focus on overcoming entrenched barriers within communities, health facilities, health systems/institutions, and evidence generation/sharing.

“The project’s technical and programmatic approaches include:
Low and midle- income country -led human-centered design to create context-specific, social behavior change strategies addressing factors that affect service demand and use”

“Updating pre-and in-service curricula for priority surgical maternal health/family planning competencies”

“Supporting collaborative processes among national family planning, fistula, and maternal health technical working groups, academic medical institutions, professional associations, faith-based and community-based organizations, and credentialing bodies; and Supporting country governments and institutions to have and use improved data, including revising Health Management Information System indicators, harmonizing registers, and implementing a robust learning agenda” he added.

EXPECTED RESULTS

He said the project’s activities and approaches contribute to the following long-term goals; Universal access to surgical maternal health and family planning information and services.
Skilled,equipped, and supported health workforce who provide quality surgical maternal health and family planning services through well-functioning teams at appropriate levels of care.

Informed health system resource allocations that enable high-quality service delivery, as well as costed strategies and plans to increase country self-reliance.

Availability and use of high-quality, timely data for decision-making within all levels of the health system.

Abdul’azeez however urged the State Government to inject more Medical and health workers into the health workforce in the State, especially in the Secondary health facilities.

Also the Monitoring Evaluation Research and Learning MERL Coordinator, Mrs Idara Sunday said the project has done 443 fistula surgical repair including 14 repairs conducted for women deemed incurable. 273 newly diagnosed cases and 17 doctors trained on fistula surgical skills.

The project which started from September 2020 will be ending in September 2025.

Earlier in his remarks, the Senior Grants Lead, Mr Stanley Osayi said Momentum seeks to accelerate reductions
in maternal, newborn, and child mortality and morbidity in USAID partner countries.

The Medical Director, National Obstetrics and Fistula Center Abakaliki, Professor Johnson Obunna, represented by the Head Clinical Services, Dr Yakubu Emmanuel attested to the numerous support by MSSFPO.

The Ebonyi State Ministry of Budget and Planning, Women Affairs as well as State Health Management Board and Traditional Custodians were present in the event and gave good testimonies about MSSFPO.

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