SURE-P: FCT starts payment to pregnant women
Category: News Written by Joshua Odeyemi
A steering committee is in place to monitor proposed payment of N5,000 in incentive to encourage women to attend antenatal clinic.
At least N5,000 will be paid to women when they register and attend antenatal clinic, according to plans for conditional cash transfer (CCT) set in the upgraded Midwives Service Scheme.
FCT secretary for health and human services, Dr Demola Onakomaiya, who inaugurated the committee Wednesday said it would ensure the conditional cash transfer is successfully implemented and supervise payment for beneficiaries.
Paying women to attend antenatal clinic was conceived amidst concerns about increasing demand for health services in hopes of cutting down pregnancy- and childbirth-related deaths among women and their newborns.
The payment will be funded from the Subsidy Reinvestment and Empowerment Programme (SURE-P) in Abuja.
A pilot for conditional cash transfer is expected to be operational by February in nine states across Nigeria.
Get the money
The consists representatives of the FCT secretariats for Health and Human Services, Local Government Area Councils, Women Affairs, State Primary Health Care Board and representatives of the traditional and religious leaders in the FCT.
Encouraging women to attend antenatal clinic during pregnancy and up till delivery could help increase the number of women seeking help with expecting and cut down maternal deaths, said Dr Ugo Okoli, director of maternal and child health under SURE-P in the FCT.
She said the programme could “could place on track to achieve [targets set in the] millennium development goals as well as contribute to the Save-a-Million-Lives initiative by rapidly scaling up the Midwives Services Scheme.”
Nigeria hopes to reduce maternal deaths by two-thirds by 2015. At present, more than 400 women among every 1,000 giving birth die during pregnancy.
But women will only get payment if they register and attend antenatal clinic, said Dr Okoli.
“As soon as they register while pregnant and continue to go for their ante-natal and post-natal medications, they will get the money,” she explained.
She said the N5,000 cash incentive will be disbursed twice and through a trusted procedure to avoid irregularities.