11 September 2009

Nigeria: Napep to Fight Poverty Through Health Care

Abuja — The National Poverty Eradication Programme (NAPEP) and the Federal Ministry Of Health have identified areas of collaboration that will lead to poverty reduction in Nigeria.Speaking during a courtesy visit to the Minister of Health, Prof. Babatunde Osotimehin, National coordinator of NAPEP, Dr. Magnus Kpakol said that the partnership will focus on the two schemes designed by NAPEP to address poverty at the grass root.

He said that the schemes which are: the village trust fund and Conditional Cash Transfer (COPE) are community based poverty eradication strategy for promoting grass root savings and investment.

Kpakol said that grants are provided for communities in poverty "with the condition that they keep their children in school and access free health services of the government."

According to the national coordinator, NAPEP has programmes that can be adopted by the various tiers of government in order to spur mass participation in the economic growth of the country.

Minister of health, Prof. Babatunde Osotimehin said that the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) which has the same target as the Village Trust Fund scheme of NAPEP can generate minimum care for people at the grass root

He said that the free medical maternal health care programme of the federal government and the free medical care for children under five (5) will allow beneficiaries of COPE use their monthly stipend on nutrition instead of worrying about health care as it will be guaranteed.

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