Save One Million Lives Programme: Health Monitoring/Evaluation Officers Get Marching Order

BY ROSEMARY NWAEBUNI
Deltlta State Com-missioner for Health, Dr. Nicholas Azinge has charged the State Health Monitoring and Evaluation Officers to work assiduously at ensuring successful achievement of the Save One Million Lives (SOML) programme in the State.
Azinge gave the charge during the training of over 100 monitoring and evaluation officers on the use of pigeon format for data reporting on SOML programme, held at Enotel Hotel, Asaba.
He stated that the State’s ability to achieve the above performance indicators will enable her qualify for continued participation in the laudable programme and be awarded bonus financial incentives.
The commissioner revealed that the training was particularly important as it would build their capacity to collect and collate the data needed to assess their performance and added that monitoring and evaluation were the needle and thread that stitch any project together in order to achieve its stated objectives.
While urging them to take the training seriously, he reminded them that success or failure of the SOML programme in the State was contingent upon what they learnt and practiced on the field subsequently.
He said that SOML programme was an innovative healthcare financing mechanism designed to assist the Federal and State governments in bridging important financing gaps for key healthcare programmes.
He identified funding as a major challenge in healthcare projects, especially with the current economic downturn in the country, explaining that the SOML programme was a welcome intervention in achieving the objectives of healthcare policies and projects.
He further informed that the programme was focused on six pillars and two enablers. He listed the pillars to include: improving maternal, newborn and child health; improving routine immunisation coverage and achieving polio eradication; elimination of mother-to-child transmission of HIV; scaling up access to essential medicines and commodities; malaria control; and improving child nutrition.
“The two enablers on the other hand: are strengthening logistics and supply chain management; and promoting innovation and use of technology to improve health services”, he added.
Describing SOML as a programme for result (P for R), he said, “Whatever we do will be monitored and evaluated to ensure that the intended results have been achieved as continuation of funding for the programme is strictly linked to verifiable results. For this purpose, there are indicators by which our performance would be judged by the funders and by which we can qualify for further funding”.
He commended the Federal Ministry of Health for initiating the programme and expressed appreciation to the World Bank and the international partners for funding the programme. He also thanked Mother Gold, the state consultant of the programme for effective coordination.
The occasion climaxed with distribution of cell phones and laptops to participants.