The Federal Government has reiterated its commitment to repositioning the health sector through the revitalisation of the primary healthcare system.
The Minister of Health, Professor Isaac Adewole, stated this on Saturday at the launch of the National Primary Healthcare Supply Chain in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital.
Professor Isaac Adewole said the revitalisation of the nation’s primary healthcare system was the only way for the Federal Government to deliver on its election campaign promise of affordable and accessible healthcare for all.
“The revitalisation exercise signifies a major commitment of Mr President to provide leadership in an effort to reposition the nation’s health system.
“Many of us who have been actively involved with the health system recognise that what we’ve practiced hitherto was an inverted pyramid with the tertiary healthcare system at the tip and the primary at the base.
“When the pyramid is inverted, it is not a stable pyramid and most Nigerians will access help by visiting the next or the most available tertiary institution and I did mention that this cannot stand.
“As part of efforts to revitalise the nation’s health system, we recognise clearly that repositioning the primary healthcare system is the way forward.
“It also enables us to translate the agenda of the APC administration; that manifesto simply stated accessible healthcare system within three to five kilometres radius with affordable healthcare to the people.
The Executive Director of National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA), Dr. Faisal Shuaib, on his part commended the Federal Government’s plan.
Dr. Shuaib expressed optimism that the programme would accelerate the achievement of the Universal Health Coverage.
The Head, Ebola Emergency Operations in Nigeria, Dr. Faisal Shuaib on Thursday dismissed claims that there are new cases of Ebola victims in Nigeria apart from those who had contact with the primary index.
He maintained that the Ebola patients, who had primary contact with the index patient, Patrick Sawyer, still remain those reported.
” We have 12 confirmed cases of the Ebola outbreak, with five discharged patients and five deaths”, noting that “in the whole of Nigeria we have only two persons with the Ebola virus and four persons who are in isolation centre presently.
“There are two cases which had a direct primary contact of the index patient and there is no new case(s) of the Ebola Virus”, he noted.
“Nobody leaves the health facility in good fitting to go home when he is infectious.
“There is a discharge protocol that we follow which indicates that there is no symptoms, adding that laboratory tests are conducted and when turned to a negative form, the patient is good to go home, and will not transmit the disease.
“There is no evidence what so ever in the literature that anybody can transmit the virus to his spouse through semen, it has not been documented and I do not know where he got his fact from. this might create panic to people”, he stressed.
According to Dr. Shuaib, the agency controlling and containing the virus has a joint-solving approach for the emergency treatment of the Ebola virus.
“We have a situation where we have all partner agencies bringing all their resources both material and human into one group led by the government” adding that strategies are in place to examine and coordinate further spread of the epidemic.
” We have daily meetings twice where we have all strategies developed against Ebola outbreak. Data is anaylsed and interpreted in terms of the current stage of the Ebola outbreak and examined”, he noted.
Dr. Shuaib added that the best health care practitioners are working hard in Nigeria to curb the further spread of the virus.
“In the cases of the Ebola outbreak, the best doctors are working with Nigerian doctors, so that we could have one focus in curbing the virus and making sure all efforts are put in the same direction. This is why we are cautiously optimistic that it will bring a lot of progress”, he emphasised.
He also, noted that the Ebola Emergency Centre was currently at the Central Public Health Laboratory in Yaba Lagos.
He however encouraged States in the federation to have centres in order to curb the rise of the virus
” We encourage States to set up their emergency centres by reputing data analysis and interpretation of data so that it can define an epidemic and place strategies to curb further spread of the virus”, noting that “the obligation of the centre strategised in the country was to ensure that there is no further spread of the virus.
“What the centre does is to cast a wide net to ensure that any body that had any contant with the Ebola patient, is brought in and observed.
” We are optimistic that they might not see new cases,we are not relenting at all; we are going out to do surveillance in communities .
Since the disease broke out early this year, at least 1,200 deaths have been recorded in West Africa.