FG To Revitalise National Primary Healthcare

FG To Revitalise National Primary HealthcareThe 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.

Kogi Govt. Commits To Maternal, Newborn Health In Week-long Programme

Kogi State, Yahaya Bello, MNCHWKogi State Governor, Yahaya Bello, has directed health officers to ensure comprehensive implementation of all stages of Maternal, Newborn and Child Health Week (MNCHW) in the state.

Governor Bello urged the health officials to specially pay close attention to the needs of women, children and nursing mothers.

He gave the directive through the Secretary to the State Government, Mrs Folashade Ayoade, at an event in Lokoja, the state’s capital in north-central Nigeria.

The event was organised to officially flag off the week-long free healthcare services for women and children to mark the 2017 MNCHW in the state.

The governor said his administration was poised at bringing good health to the doorstep of everyone living within the state.

He directed the Kogi State Commissioner for Health, Dr. Saka Haruna, to ensure that every stage of the exercise was comprehensively covered.

Governor Bello also ordered the administrations of the 21 local government areas in the state to ensure the success of the programme.

In his remarks, Dr. Haruna thanked the governor for his determination to introduce the ‘Health  Plus’ programme.

He expressed hopes that the programme would aid the renovation, remodeling and re-equipment of health facilities in order to reduce mortality rate in the state.

The highpoint of the event was the immunisation of children which was administered by the Secretary to the State Government.

It was witnessed by representatives from WHO, UNICEF, Federal Ministry of Health, Centre for Integrated Health Programmes, National Primary Health Care Development Agency, as well as top government officials and nursing mothers in the state.

Imo Residents Appeal For Improved Primary Health Care

HealthResidents of Imo state are calling on the government to intervene in the improvement of Primary health care systems in the state.

Channels Television visited Avu community in Owerri west local government area of the state, where it was observed that there was only one primary healthcare centre, which caters for a population of over 5,000 people in the vicinity.

The entire environment seemed to be plagued by lack of basic amenities and infrastructural decay, leaving residents with no other choice than to nurse their illnesses at home or resort to private clinics.

A patient who came to the community clinic for treatment , urged the government to provide the necessary amenities for the growth of the primary health care system.

One of the staff in the health center also enumerated some of the challenges they face in delivering quality health care to the people.

Poor Funding

The National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA), believes that the poor primary healthcare services in Nigeria, has been as a result of inadequate funding of the health sector.

On the other hand, the Imo state government, in December 2016, organized a 2-day orientation workshop for the newly inaugurated board of the Imo State Primary Health Care Development Agency.

The board was set up by the National Primary Health Care Development Agency, whose objective was to orientate the new technical team on steps towards full implementation of the Primary Health Care Under One Roof policy, by the federal government.

By so doing, they also plan correct all the wrongs associated with the sector in the state.

With the inauguration of the new board, there are hopes that the health care systems in the state would be revived as soon as possible.


NPHCDA Decries Poor Primary Healthcare Funding

NPHCDA Decries Poor Primary Healthcare FundingThe National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA) has blamed inadequate funding of the health sector on the poor primary healthcare services in Nigeria.

The Acting Director of NPHCDA, Emmanuel Odu, made the criticism at the 2016 annual primary healthcare lecture in Abuja, organised to discuss sustainable financing options for the sector.

Mr Odu stressed the effects of poor funding for the health sector on primary healthcare services in Nigeria, revealing that over 70% of Nigeria’s health funding comes from donor partners, tax revenues and ‘out of pocket’ spending by the individuals.

Also, a representative of the Northern Traditional Rulers at the forum and Emir of Jiwa, Idris Musa, explained how the lack of funding for primary healthcare had affected their communities.

The Director of Public Health at the Federal Ministry of Health, Evelin Ngige, who spoke on behalf the Minister of Health, confirmed the poor monetary allocation to the health sector.

She, however, assured the people of the government’s determination to provide more funding going forward.

The Global Vaccine Alliance, otherwise known as Gavi, has provided much funding for primary healthcare service in Nigeria.

The decision of the organisation to stop the funding of vaccines in Nigeria by 2017 has raised serious concern about how the Federal Government would make up for the funding gap that the exit of Gavi and other donor partners would create.

Out of the 6.08 trillion Naira 2016 budget, 221.7 was earmarked to fund the health sector.

This is a far cry from the 15% of Nigeria’s budget agreed by African leaders at the Abuja Declaration in 2001 to be committed to the health sector.

Health Development Agency Deploys 1,447 Midwives To Rural Communities

Health Development Agency Deploys 1,447 Midwives To Rural Communities The National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA), has deployed 1,447 midwives to rural communities in the northern part of Nigeria for their one year mandatory Midwives Service Scheme (MSS).

At a Flag-Off Orientation and Documentation of Basic Midwives held in Kaduna on Thursday, the Acting Executive Director of the agency, Dr. Echezona Ezeanolue, who declared the induction course open, said the programme was aimed at reversing the ugly trend in the maternal and child health outcomes.

Describing the high rate of maternal and newborn deaths as a national tragedy which requires concerted effort to tackle, Professor Ezeanolue charged the midwives to take the assignment seriously wherever they would be posted.

The deployment of the nurses is under the midwives service scheme, an intervention started since 2009, to reduce the number of women and children who die from pregnancy-related complications.

Since its inception, the scheme has demonstrated progressively to be a strategy for achieving better maternal and newborn outcomes.

However unfortunately, lack of adequate funding has been a major challenge in realizing this objective.

The NPHCDA has already staged orientation for a first batch of 443 midwives in Abuja, the second is taking place in Kaduna, while the third would be conducted in Edo state.

The executive director who identified lack of medical personnel as some of the factors responsible for maternal and child deaths in the country, expressed hopes that the deployment of these nurses to the rural communities will mitigate incidents of pregnant women and child related deaths in those areas.

She called on the midwives to show hard work and patriotism during the service, reminding them that their performance would determine their induction into the Nursing and Midwifery Council of Nigeria.

“It is our believe that the scheme will continue to strengthen the PHC system and have positive bearing on all other levels of care.

“It is important to note that your engagement into the scheme is a pre-requisite for you to receive your license from the Nursing and Midwifery Council of Nigeria.

“This underscores the need for you to be of good conduct to your clients and members of the communities where you will be posted during this period.

“The Midwives Service Scheme has demonstrated progressively to be a strategy for achieving better maternal and newborn health outcomes as well as revitalizing the primary health care system.

“The health workers under the scheme are trained on life saving skills, modified life saving skills and other required skills and competences to improve quality of care at the facility level.

“The agency has reinvigorated the ward development committees and will continue to build capacity within diverse community stakeholders. The scheme has also provided an opportunity to deliver essential drugs and supplies to facilities under the scheme.”

Furthermore, she said: “I wish to reiterate that maternal and newborn deaths remain a national tragedy. Any Nigerian woman’s life lost is a loss to our dear nation’s human capital.

“The loss of lives of mothers and newborns is linked in three delays, delay in recognising that there is a problem and that healthcare must be sought, this often occurs due to lack of access to right information, delay due to lack of means to access to health care which could be physical and financial access and delay to non availability of needed services and skilled manpower to provide services at the facilities”.

The Kaduna state Commissioner for Health, Dr Paul Dogo on the other hand noted that there was great improvement in access to healthcare under the present administration in terms of provision of equipment and manpower at the primary health care centres, stating that with the posting of more medical personnel to rural communities, maternal and child deaths could be minimized.

“Globally, there has been improvement in maternal and child health care, and there has been also a significant decrease in maternal and child deaths rate lets say in the past 25 years.

“Now what we have witnessed today are young midwives going in for one year compulsory community service. We have to address human resource situation, that means we are going to have an increase in the number of deliveries supervised by skilled birth attendants and we know that this will significantly reduce the rate of maternal and child mortality”.

According to statistics, each year in Nigeria, 33,000 mothers die, three quarters of which could have been prevented with existing health interventions, while 946,000 children under age five die and 241,000 newborns die yearly; 70% of which could have been prevented using existing health care packages.

With the deployment of these midwives, they are expected to compliment health service providers on ground at primary health care facilities, it expected that it would reduce the high rate of maternal and child mortality rate.

NPHCDA Blames Lack Of Data For Immunisation Setbacks

NPHCDA on immunisationThe National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA) has identified lack of accurate data for planning as one major challenge affecting immunisation of children in Nigeria.

The agency stated that the lack of such data affected adequate planning of vaccines for immunisation exercise, especially in remote areas.

The NPHCDA Head of Routine Immunisation, Dr. Bassey Okposen, made the observation on Tuesday in Abuja at a workshop to strengthen advocacy for immunisation through data.

He noted that the agency had intensified emergency immunisation of children across Nigeria’s Northern region in the last two months since the resurgence of polio in the country.

Dr. Okposen revealed that the government deployed at least 28 million doses of polio vaccines to 18 states in the region.

He said although the exercise targeted children below the age of five years, there was no accurate data of how many eligible children exist in the region.

The NPHCDA official also stressed the need for such data, saying it was important for health financing.

Meanwhile, representatives from health development partners at the workshop also gave an insight on the significance of accurate data.

The Head of Research at the International Vaccine Access Centre in USA, Julie Younkin and her Nigerian counterpart, Chizoba Wonodi, said the lack of such data also hampered the effectiveness of finance advocacy for vaccines and immunisation.

Kaduna State Health Sector Gets Bill Gates, UK Supports

Kaduna, Health Care, MOU The Kaduna State health sector on Friday received a boost, as the government signs an agreement with the United Kingdom Department for International Development (DFID) and ‘Bill and Melinda Gates’ Foundation.

The State government is optimistic that the agreement will strengthen primary Healthcare in rural areas, to address the constant increase in mortality rates especially of mothers and children.

Governor Nasir El-Rufai signed the Memorandum Of understanding on behalf of the Kaduna State government, while the UK Minister of State for International Development, Mr James Wharton, signed on behalf of the UK government.

Technical And Financial Assistance

El-Rufai said the agreement underscored his administration’s commitment to improving access to affordable and qualitative healthcare services to the people as well as reducing maternal and infant mortality rates in the state.

Due to poor distribution of facilities across the state, to reduce out-of-pocket expenditures on health, there has been limited access as well as low citizen demand for healthcare services.

With the Health Centres the state government is looking to strengthen Primary Health Care systems, improve service delivery and reduce financial barriers.

The tripartite agreement will therefore support Kaduna State’s efforts to increase and sustain effective, equitable coverage of essential health services.

The content of the MOU as presented by the state Commissioner For Health read: “While Kaduna State government will show commitment in implementing the primary healthcare under one roof, DFID and Bill and Melinda Gates foundation, will provide both technical and financial assistance under the MOU”.

Support Through Bilateral Relations

Mr Wharton said that as part of the bilateral relations between Nigeria and the UK, his country’s government would commit £500 million annually for execution of people-oriented projects in Nigeria.

He also announced that the United Kingdom government would continue to partner with states that had a genuine commitment to boosting their healthcare systems.

The Director of Community Health Services at the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA), Dr Emmanuel Odu, expressed optimism that the MOU would strengthen primary health care programmes in the state.

He also commended the commitment and support of Kaduna State government for providing budgetary allocation for the reduction of maternal and infant mortality in Nigeria.

Effective primary care interventions and the health sector generally, in Nigeria are currently at low standards.

Issues such as poor management of staff, allocation of funds, resources and a general lack of accountability have been prominent in the sector.

The plan to strengthen the primary healthcare system in Kaduna state is therefore expected to enable increased coverage of essential quality health services to the people, especially those in rural communities who presently have no access to basic healthcare services.

Wada Calls On Groups To Receive Routine Immunization

wadaThe Kogi State Governor, Idris Wada has called on the traditional rulers, religious leaders, women group, community based organisations, to receive routine immunization when due.

Gov. Wada made the call in government house,  Lokoja, the state’s capital, at the official flag off of the European Union (EU) support for immunization governance in Nigeria.

The project is to address routine immunization and polio eradication which are to be implemented through National Planning Health Commission (NPHC), National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPCDA), European Union (EU) delegation in Nigeria and benefiting State Ministry of Health.

In his opening speech, the State Commissioner of Health, Dr Idris Omede said the State is taking the project with all seriousness in its quest to reduce childhood mobility and mortality as well as sustainable routine immunization.

The representative of the Minister for National Planning, Mr Lanre Adekanye, urged Kogi State government to continue to extend its support to the State Primary Health Care Development Agencies so as to improve Primary Health Care in the state.

While the Executive Director of the NPCDA, Dr Onwuka Damari, gave an insight on the importance for immunization, urging parents to ensure their children are immunized as at when due.

Gov. Wada, the host Governor, said that the flag off ceremony signified the determination of the government to go an extra mile to prevent the children and mother from the deadly vaccine preventable diseases.

The governor however, appalled to the striking health workers in the state to come back to work so as to dialogue.

Governor threatens to sack council chiefs, village heads over polio

The governor of Katsina state, Alhaji Ibrahim Shema has threatened to sack council chairmen and village heads who are not prepared to promote the fight against polio in the state.

Speaking in Katsina while flagging off polio routine immunization exercise in the state at the headquarters of Ingawa Local Council, Alhaji Shema read the riot act saying any local council chairman who allows a child in his local government council to be attacked by the polio virus will be attacked by political polio.

He warned that the state government will not entertain laxity by any of the agencies charged with the responsibility of providing services to the people adding that antenatal services for pregnant women, children and elderly people in the state, is free.

The governor declared that the state government will do everything within its capacity to work with the National Primary Health Care Development Agency to see that Nigeria as a country eradicates polio.

Also speaking at the flag-off, the Executive Director of National Primary Health Care Development Agency, Dr. Ado Muhammad disclosed that three new strategies have been employed by the agency in ensuring that every child is vaccinated.

According to him, the strategies include the Geographic Information System (GIS) device, involvement of traditional and religious leaders and constant and effective mobilization by the officers of the agency.

The WHO over the weekend claimed that Nigeria is the country with the highest figure of poliomyelitis cases in the world, as Nigeria is the only country in the world to have all three types of Polio virus—Type 1, Type 3, and circulating vaccine-derived Type 2 viruses.