Kwara State Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq on Thursday sought improved funding for primary healthcare and easing of legal logjams militating against effective running of what the governor called the bedrock of healthcare worldwide.
Speaking at the opening session of a one-day meeting on improving primary healthcare delivery attended by Commissioners of Health and Executive Secretaries of the Primary Healthcare Development Agencies (PHCDAs) from 22 states governed by All Progressives Congress (APC), the Governor said more attention ought to go into primary healthcare because of its significance for the society.
“At the moment primary healthcare caters for less than 20% of potential patients in Nigeria. This explains why enough resources and multi-stakeholders’ collaboration must go into this key area to change the narrative,” he observed.
“I acknowledge and commend the policy of primary healthcare under one roof. But the success of this policy depends on how much political will and resources we are ready to muster. We will also need to clear some constitutional impediments standing on its way. I expect that experts and sector players at this event will give a breakdown of these challenges and offer sustainable solutions.”
The Governor, who said the administration inherited a poorly funded PHCDA and collapsed infrastructure in the state, said Kwara has since turned the page through constant payment of counterpart funds and implementation of other strategies to improve access to quality basic healthcare.
He added: “For the first time since the establishment of primary healthcare agency in the state, we have recruited and deployed 42 new health workers. A process to recruit additional 155 is underway. We have renovated and equipped 27 PHCs across the state. We have conducted refresher trainings for hundreds of healthcare workers this year alone on life saving skills, patient care management, basic emergency obstetric care etc. I have also approved the engagement of 200 Community Health Influencers Promoters Scheme (CHIPS) agents to strengthen basic healthcare delivery at the grassroots.
“We have promptly paid and will continue to pay counterpart funds to ensure that necessary health care interventions are available to our people. The implementation of Basic Health Care Provision Fund (BHCPF) has taken off in the state, with 158 facilities so far cleared and equipped to enrol in the scheme.
“We have set up and adequately funded the State Emergency Routine Immunisation Coordination Centre. And just recently, the State Emergency Maternal and Child Health Intervention Centre was activated to revamp maternal and Child Health intervention services across our PHCs.
“We are also activating the Community Health Influencers Promoters Scheme (CHIPS). Approval has been given for immediate recruitment of 200 CHIPS agents to strengthen basic healthcare in our state.”
The event, attended by Deputy Governor Kayode Alabi and cabinet members, was organised by the Kwara State Ministry of Health and the Kwara State Primary Healthcare Development Agency led by Dr Raji Razaq and Dr. Nusirat Elelu respectively.
The one-day event drew participants from 22 APC states across Nigeria.
via: Information Nigeria