EU rates South East lowest in Primary Health Care implementation

Posted by Pamela Eboh, Awka | 25 June 2015 | 4,251 times

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The European Union (EU) has rated South East geo-political zone as the lowest in the implementation of the Primary Health Care (PHC) among the six geo-political zones in Nigeria.

Making the statement at the South East advocacy meeting on the establishment of (PHC) held in Awka, the Anambra State capital, the team leader of EU SIGN Project, Dr. Goli Lamiri, explained that the criteria adopted by the National Health Act and Primary Health Care system, which government agencies must develop for effective quality (PHC) to the grass root, were used in the assessment of the states’ performance.

He reeled out the procedures to include a strong management and governance system, effective legislation, funding of the (PHC), minimum service package and mobilisation of human resources required to deliver services to communities.

Lamiri noted that the team was in Anambra State to support the South-East in partnership with the NPHCDA to establish and strengthen the PHC boards in the three states of Anambra, Ebonyi and Abia for the common good of the people and (PHC) system.

It would be recalled that PHC implementation programme started in 2004 with two pilot states of Enugu and Jigawa and later added Ekiti while that of Jigawa was sustained.

Though the exercise was extended to all the six geo-political zones across the country, the other five zones had virtually covered all their states, while only Anambra, Abia and recently Ebonyi have established the all-important National Primary Health Care Development Agency (PHCDA) necessary for proper implementation of the programme in the South-East.

The Director of Planning, Research and Statistics of the NPHCDA, Dr. Mohammed Abdullahi, who represented the Executive Director, Dr. Ado Mohammed, however, stressed the need to bring the PHC under one roof as a way of streamlining their activities and ensuring its efficiency and effectiveness.

According to him, the act establishing the PHCDA recognises the setting up of the agency in all states and wondered why some states were still showing lukewarm attitude over the matter.

“If a lot of money is spent on tertiary and secondary health care systems without the commensurate expenditure on the PHC at the local government level, the impact of the health care delivery will remain minimal.

“Bringing PHC under one roof is a strong instrument for effective delivery in Nigeria and it will be easier for states to be in total control in terms of allocation of resources, implementation and monitoring,” he said.

Earlier while declaring the workshop open Anambra State Commissioner for Health, Dr. Joe Akabuike, who declared the workshop open, said the team’s presence in the state would help government kick start the implementation of the functions of the agency in the state.

He explained that Anambra State legislature passed the bill into law in December 2014, while Governor Willie Obiano assented to it in January this year.

He said that one advantage was that any state that established the agency would enjoy one percent of the consolidated revenue to be in better position to access loans and assistance from donor agencies namely the World Health Organization (WHO), World Bank, EUD, UNICEF, among others.

“This is a project that is very dear to us and that is why the governor assented to the bill soon after it was passed by the House of Assembly and the board of the agency has since been constituted,” he said.


Source: News Express

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