By Marok Nuhu Haruna
The Senate has called on the Federal Government to revitalise Nigeria’s primary health care system.
It made the call on Tuesday while noting a report by the World Health Organization and UNICEF that over 2300 children under the age of five and 145 women die daily due to the poor state and inadequate number of primary health care facilities in the country.
The senate also resolved to direct the Committee on Appropriation to ensure appropriation of funds for the primary health care centres.
In a motion titled “the revitalization of Primary Health Care System across Nigeria’, sponsored by Duro Faseyi (PDP, Ekiti North), the senate stated that an initiative to take health care services to local communities will address the health needs of Nigerians.
“Between 2014 and 2015, the Federal Government spent well over N2 billion for the building of primary health centres across the country resulting in the award of 91 contracts; but regrettably, most of the health care centres have either been abandoned or locked without being used or worse still, lacking in equipment, drugs and relevant personnel.
“There is obvious disconnect between the relevant agencies of the Federal Government and those of the states and local councils where the primary health care centres are sited and the Federal Government’s agenda of ensuring adequate provision of primary health care facilities and services may run into a serious hitch,” Mr. Faseyi explained.
The senate thereafter, urged the federal government to take concrete steps to make the health centres functional.
The senate also “urge the federal government to ensure that at least two primary health centres are established and functioning at full capacity in each political ward in the country as against one announced by the government and;
“Mandate the appropriate Committee to monitor compliance and report back to the Senate in six weeks.”