Health Centres Requires Urgent Attention – Reps

By Prudence Ijah, Abuja 

House of representatives committee Deputy Chairman on health, Mohammed Usman says the federal government’s pledge to revitalise 10,000 primary health centres across the country through the one functional primary health centres per ward  has not been fulfilled as there are less than 2,000 functional primary health centres in the country. 

Usman stated this in Abuja at a Validation meeting for the Motion Tracker aimed at strengthening the fulfilment of the commitment of Every Woman, Every Child (EWEC) Global strategy and family planning 2020 by WHO in partnership with Community Health and Research Initiative (CHR) and with the theme “Building a common agenda: drive towards achieving Nigeria’s EWEC and family planning 2020 commitments.

He observed that this may impede the quest for increased access to health care services to children, the rural poor and family planning services for women of child bearing age. 

Usman said “our primary health care centres are in a shambles, and primary health care centre is the first level of health care, if we had functional primary health care centres, the high mortality rate being witnessed would have been reduced, it is important for primary health care centres to receive urgent attention”

According to Usman, the government got it right when it said emphasis should be placed on primary health where millions of Nigerians can access health but no meaningful action has followed this plan to ensure that primary health care centres are not neglected. 

“From our oversight function around the country, the functional primary health centres in this country is between 2,000 to 3,000 while the rest are in shambles” Usman revealed. 

The Chairman House of Representatives Committee on Health, however reiterated that budget for health must be increased in order to meet up and face squarely the challenges inherent in the health sector, especially as it relates to family planning.

He said the basic healthcare provision fund is being implemented, however health indices in the country have been relatively poor in the face of its entire growing population.

He said: ” Hopefully, in 2019 we can convince the government to increase the budget as we must work collectively. Compared to other countries, we are not doing well. There is the need for us to meet the target and stay committed.

“Most of the problem in Nigeria are implementation challenges and we must change this attitude. Family planning commitment are there and with few years to 2020, I am not sure we can achieve up to 50% of the family planning 2020.

” This year, we were able to push the executives to implement the basic healthcare provision fund of the NHAct. There are still issues with the Basic Health Care Provision Fund as it is not captured in the statutory fund” he added.

Also speaking, the Commissioner of Health of Niger State, Dr Mustapha Jibrin said Niger state has prioritize health through recruitment of more health professionals and upgrading of primary health facilities accross the state. 

Mustapha reinstated that Family planning services in Niger state are free hence urging all members of the public to report any erring public health facility.

Earlier, the Coordinator and founder Africa Health Budget Network Aminu Magashi said the United Nations Secretary-General’s Every Woman Every Child (EWEC) is a Global strategy for women, children and Adolescents Health 2016-2030 which has a unified Accountability framework.

Magashi said the accountability framework was developed in 2015 by key stakeholders to ensure proper streamlining, monitoring and review of the act elements of accountability at all levels to accelerate progress towards the Global strategy.

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