Foundation to partner govt on education, maternal, child health

Maternal and child health and education, the TY Danjuma Foundation says will be the focus of its strategic plans.

It also revealed that new elements were added to its thematic focus, including research and documentation on health, education, humanitarian assistance, and issues of public interest.

The foundation stated that it is committed to responding to critical issues of national concerns despite the prevailing economic challenges.

The Chief Executive Officer of the Foundation, Gima Forje stated this during the foundation’s meeting with partners in Abuja on Saturday.

He said its strategic plan for 2023-2028 is focused on maternal and child health, access to quality education, preventable blindness, free medical missions, and humanitarian support.

“The final component to this is that we are going back to something which we experimented with in the past, which is capacity building for Non-governmental Organisations. “We want to work closely with a lot of NGOs to see how we can build their capacity in response to the needs of the society,” he added.

Speaking on projects in the 2023-2028 cycle, Forje explained that the TYDF would adjust to the ‘present reality’ to meet its commitments to its partners and the people.

“Initially, we were projecting to spend about N2bn with our partners. I think we have already surpassed that. There are a lot of projects the foundation is engaged with that involve massive construction, especially hospitals that have to deal with maternal and child health.

“There is an eye hospital in Takum, Taraba State. Another maternal and child health hospital in Benin, Edo State, and another one in Enugu State. So, when you look at the larger picture, we are going to double or triple the amount that the foundation was projecting initially.

“The issue is that we’re being very responsive to the economic challenges in the country,” he said.

Forje said that in the past, what TYDF was only organising practice training for its local partners to understand the essence of the foundation and how they should engage with the government and the community.

“Now, we have evolved, and what we are doing now is to consolidate the work we have been doing with them for over 15 years.

“We now bring government and partners around the table so that they can interface with each other. If there are obstacles, they identify them, and the government can advise on how to overcome them.

“Then, we can now jointly work towards a common goal which is to make more impact on the lives of Nigerians,” he noted.

Also speaking with journalists, the National Coordinator of the National Eye Health Programme, Federal Ministry of Health and Social Welfare, Dr. Oteri Okolo, stressed the need for non-governmental organisations and development partners to key into government policies and programmes in their interventions.

He also advised the TYDF’s partners to ensure value for money when implementing their intervention programmes.

“Our goal at the National Eye Health Programme is to ensure that resources coming into the country, even through partners, are well-utilized to ensure maximum impact on the citizenry.

“TYDF is one of our partners in eye health, and they work with their partners in states to bring interventions to the average Nigerian. As we emphasised in the meeting, this is not a resource-rich nation, no matter what people say. We need to ensure that we make effective and judicious use of the resources.

“One of the ways we highlighted in the meeting is to ensure that they work together with the government, aligning with government priorities, plans, and policies. Because you want to ensure that these resources are effectively utilised. Another way to ensure that resources have a lasting impact is to ensure that whatever is implemented is sustainable.

“The best way to ensure the sustainability of these interventions and their maximum value is to ensure that the government is involved in implementation at all levels. Ensure that everyone is carried along and working together, aligning with priorities. Those are the things we are looking to ensure happen between 2024 and 2028, especially in the eye health space,” she added.

Also, the Executive Secretary, Edo State Primary Health Care Development Agency, Dr Omosigbo Izedonmmen commended the interventions made by the TYDF in various sectors of the economy and lives of Nigerians.

He said that the foundation has demonstrated how individual capacities could contribute meaningfully to society through education, health, nutrition, and other dimensions without necessarily holding presidential office.


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