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The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation commits $2m to Nigeria’s basic healthcare fund

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The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation says it has committed two million dollars to the Nigerian Basic Health Care Provision Funds to fast-track implementation by the government toward the realisation of Universal Health Coverage (UHC).

Dr Paulin Basinga, the Deputy Nigerian Country Officer of the foundation disclosed this on Wednesday in Abuja during a visit by officials of the National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies (NIPSS).

The NIPSS paid a study tour on the foundation and Development Research and Project Centre (dRPC) which is under the Partnership for Advocacy in Child and Family Health (PACFaH ) @scale project.

Basinga described the money that was donated by the foundation as a strategy that would allow money to flow from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) account down to primary health care facilities.

He explained that the 2014 National Health Act stipulates that one per cent of the nation’s consolidated revenue should be channelled toward funding basic healthcare provision fund that would guarantee access to health by all.

However, he lamented that till date the policy has not been implemented.

He further noted that the organisation has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the government to enable it meet its commitment of buying vaccines among other consumables that would drive UHC.

Basinga identified funding as a major gap in the realisation of UHC.

He said there was need to build a stronger PHC system in the country to ensure preventive and curative measures of diseases at the community levels.

Basinga flayed the present funding of healthcare system in the country by channelling more resources to the tertiary and secondary health levels.

He urged the government to make strategic legislation to funding UHC.

“Through this legislation, funding priority will be geared toward revitalisation of primary healthcare system thereby reducing the nation’s disease burden and death rate.

“If the nation has strong primary healthcare system the health needs of 90 per cent of Nigerians will be addressed.

“We are excited in this journey toward UHC and we have been stirring the government to build a stronger PHC system through improved funding among others so that the UHC can be a reality,’’ he said.

Basinga identified the six building blocks of UHC as financing, facilities, human resources, commodities, religious and community leaders as well as data.

He emphasised that in order to drive UHC there was need for facilities to be situated in places where they can easily be accessed by all the pregnant women and children, among others, without hitches.

According to him, commodity must be readily available at all times like the test kits and treatment for malaria and typhoid, among other diseases.

He further noted that the capacity of health workers at the health facilities must be built to adequately meet the health needs of the populace.

He however called for collaborative efforts by philanthropists, civil society organisations, individuals and policy makers to ensure realisation of UHC to guaranty accessible, affordable and quality healthcare services for all irrespective of status.

AVM Dahiru Sanda, the Leader of NIPSS delegation, said their tour of the organisations was for the participants to be abreast with the relevance of the organisations in to funding of UHC delivery in the country.

Sanda identified the theme for their study tour as “Funding UHC delivery in Nigeria”.

“These organisations are key funders of UHC delivery and our focus is on framework and challenges they have in funding healthcare delivery in the country,’’ Sanda said. (NAN)

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Innovate for Life (I4L) Program 2020 for Health Innovators

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Applications are open for the Innovate for Life (I4L) Program 2020 for Health Innovators. The Innovate for Life (I4L) program is centered around developing shared value partnerships between Amref country offices and health innovators to support health innovations from around the world scale in SSA and address major health challenges in the region.

Deadline: November 30, 2019

Through this mission, I4L aims to catalyze innovation for the creation of lasting health change in Africa, which supports the overall vision, mission, and promise of Amref Health Africa. I4L combines health knowledge, capacity, and networks, business and leadership coaching, and partnership acceleration for innovators in the program.

Program Details

The program will leverage a combination of in-person and remote work, online courses and workshops, and independent learning and co-creation. The program will be composed of three key phases:

  • Phase 1: Scouting – Over 3 months, I4L will understand Amref country office programmatic needs, source global innovators based on these needs, and select and match innovators to country office programs
  • Phase 2: Core Programming – Over 5 months, I4L will hold an orientation, lead business and leadership coaching, and co-create partnerships between health innovators and Amref country offices. These activities will lead to the development of a partnership proposal that can be signed during the completion of this phase
  • Phase 3: Follow Up – Ongoing after completion of the core program, I4L will monitor the progress of I4L innovators and the developed shared value solutions from the core program and continue to provide support through pilot implementation and/or alumni programming

Benefits

I4L’s value proposition will be centred around leveraging Amref’s strengths as a leading health NGO in Africa to support the scale of innovations, specifically:

  • Affiliation with the Amref brand to gain industry credibility;
  • Access to Amref experts and entities;
  • In-country health knowledge, capacity, and networks;
  • Business and leadership coaching from an experienced Amref business partner;
  • Development and implementation of strategic partnerships with Amref programs;
  • And an alumni network and access to Amref conferences and events on an ongoing basis.

Eligibility

They are looking for passionate health innovators who have a proven business and health impact model, have tested their innovation for scale in SSA, and fit the needs of Amref country offices to enable a demand-driven innovation program and strong partnerships for scale.

In specific, the future I4L innovator should:

  • Have an innovative solution in Ethiopia in any of the following areas: NCDs, CDs and WASH;
  • Have an innovative solution in Kenya in any of the following areas: HIV/TB/Malaria/NCDs, RMNCAH and WASH & NTDs. Special interest to innovations targeting behavioral change and data collation in the aforementioned thematic areas;
  • Have a proof-of-concept innovation with demonstrated business viability;
  • Have proof of testing the innovation in the Kenyan or Ethiopian market; for example, a feasibility assessment, registration, and/or launch of the innovation in this geography;
  • Be interested in scaling their innovation through a partnership with one or many Amref program(s).

Also Read: Lebohang Lebogo: First generation drone pilot delivering blood for SANBS

Application Click here to apply

For more information, visit Innovate for Life (I4L) Program.

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How Working Mothers Can Find A Life-Career Balance

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Image credit: womenshealth.gov

Its 5am. Linda relaxes into her seat in the staff bus, took a deep breath and adjusted her hair. It was her first day at work after the 8-week maternity leave.

As she finally settles into the resumption process, she gets a memo from Mr Johnson to resume in the Administrative department.

‘But Mr Johnson, what then happens to all the Sales targets I achieved even while away on leave? I have been building my career in Sales, achieved my monthly target: $800,000 why would the company take me on this transfer?’ she asked Mr Johnson, the assistant Head of Human Resource Department.

‘I am sorry this is happening Linda, you should take a second look at the company’s policies on issues like this’ Johnson said to now devastated new mom.

Few minutes after, she gets a call from Mama, her mother-in-law complaining about how her baby refused food since she resumed.

‘Mama, I dropped this baby with you days ago, just so she could get used to eating from the bottle’ she responded, her voice now laden with tears.

‘But wait a minute. It is truly not all Mama’s fault. I never planned my baby would reject the food at this time, she thought to herself, ‘I think I am depressed already, Today is not a good day,’ She thought to herself as she grudgingly proceeded to her new office.

Linda’s story pictures that of most everyday Nigerian women who have to wean and raise healthy children while still building their careers to become financially independent.

Many a women now have had to single-handedly care for their families, either due to a job loss of their spouses, increasing cost of living and so on.

At the child-bearing age, they are often faced with leaving their homes earlier in the day, whilst domestic helps have to care for their babies whom they sometimes return home to find asleep.

In the midst of the gender parity issues in the workplace which is characterized largely by lower pay than her male counterparts, the woman is more likely to work twice as hard as the man to earn the same.

It has become more imperative that more young women need to understand how to manage growing their careers and business while raising children.

For some of the women who are not able to manage this end up abandoning their jobs to go after the race of entrepreneurship in industries some of them know nothing about.

Here are my top 5 tips on how women can balance their careers and raising healthy babies after maternity leave:

1. Set clear career growth goals: Asides just sending out job applications, women need to set realistic career goals for themselves with considerations of their maternity leave periods. A rule of thumb would be 3 to 4 years, depending on the number of children she wishes to have. Analyse your top skills and update your CV.

2. Prepare for breastfeeding and complementary feeding: You don’t want to start getting incessant calls about your baby’s poor eating habits, so it’s best to begin early enough. Get a breast pump in preparation to express breastmilk and of course begin your child with natural foods that exposes your baby’s taste buds to healthier food tastes. I highly recommend Augustsecrets foods and I know you can almost guess why!

3. Carve a professional niche: After you must have set clear career growth paths, another thing that helps is carving out a niche. With this, you are able to pitch yourself as an expert in a particular field and this keeps you more competitive in the workplace.

4. Live close to the office: Sometimes it looks expensive living a few miles away from the office, but at the end of the day, the stress, less productivity, and commuting costs of living too far away from your workplace are a lot more. If you can afford the options of living closer to your workplace, it would help you become more productive.

5. Buy support: One of the factors that help working women find the right balance is support. There are no awards for the most hardworking mother. I used the word ‘buy’ because with the high rate of rural-urban migration these days, it gets harder to find trusted hands to assist you with domestic chores if not paid for.

The best bet is to get professional domestic workers or request for live-out domestic help services. It is certainly easier in most African cities for women to get professional domestic helps.

Also Read Black Women Are Leading the Charge for Equity and Inclusion

It is suffice to say that the cost of getting professional help to care for your child should be seen as an investment in your career. This way, you are able to focus on further studies, building your career or business, while still raising wholesome children.

I hope this helps some woman out there.

Credit: Toyin Onigbanjo – is an award-winning Kids’ Chef, Author, and Founder, Augustsecrets ; A growing child nutrition company producing natural cereals, recipes and support for young mothers and families

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Amref and Awash Bank Sign Agreement to Improve Health and Well-being of Communities in Ethiopia

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Amref Health Africa and Awash Bank the leading private bank in Ethiopia signed a long term partnership agreement to work jointly towards improving the health and well-being of communities, supporting progress towards Universal Health Coverage (UHC) and collaborating to narrow gender inequity gaps in Ethiopia.

As part of this partnership agreement and its first initiative working with Amref Health Africa, Awash Bank will provide financial support for the construction of 10 sanitation facilities to be implemented by Amref Health Africa in selected government schools in Addis Ababa.

The project is expected to improve sustainable and equitable access to Water, Sanitation and Hygiene – WASH for more than 20,000 school communities. This first phase intervention is a key milestone to address sanitation and hygiene problems of school children in their school setting; and thereby contribute to the Sustainable Development Goals.

Working together under this partnership agreement will also serve as an important platform for both to further identify opportunities for long term strategic partnership and future impact investment projects.

With its Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) program, Awash Bank has been contributing a lot to public development programs for the last 25 years.

Since its inception, the bank has invested hundreds of millions of Birr to support vulnerable and marginalised sections of communities in Ethiopia. The Bank will soon mark its silver jubilee in collaboration with its sister company – Awash Insurance with a series of colourful events.

Also Read Lebohang Lebogo: First generation drone pilot delivering blood for SANBS

Amref Health Africa, headquartered in Kenya, is the largest Africa based international non-governmental organisation (NGO) currently running programs in over 35 countries in Africa with lessons learnt over 60 years of engagement with governments, communities and partners to increase sustainable health access in Africa. Amref Health Africa also incorporates programme development, fundraising, partnership, advocacy, monitoring and evaluation, and has offices in Europe and North America as well as subsidiaries; Amref Flying Doctors, Amref Enterprises and the Amref International University.

Amref

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