Health experts decry Nigerian govt’s ‘lukewarm’ attitude over PHC delivery

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Hospital wards
Hospital wards

Community healthcare providers across Nigeria, on Thursday, decried the worrisome challenges facing the universal healthcare coverage in the country, saying that the bottleneck, if not immediately tackled, could hamper the achievement of the country’s sustainable millennium development goals on healthcare delivery.

This alarm was raised during the 24th Annual Scientific Conference of the National Association of Community Health Practitioners of Nigeria, NACHPN, in collaboration with PACFaH@Scale in Katsina state.

The annual conference, which brings together community health practitioners across the country to discuss health challenges, was this year themed: “Containing the spread of emerging communicable diseases in Nigeria.”

According to the Senior Technical Advisor to PACFaH@scale, Emmanuel Abanida, part of the conference’s underlying motive was to facilitate discussions for the government to prioritize the engagement of many, efficient health workers in its revitalised primary healthcare centres across the country.

DAILY NIGERIAN reports that PACFaH@scale is a health accountability reinvestment project that strengthens the capacities of indigenous civil society organisations to hold policy decision-makers to deliver on their financial commitments to the people, especially the poor and most vulnerable.

To this end, Mr Abanida revealed that his organisation is partnering with NACHPN to strengthen their advocacies and provide them with evidence-based researches.

The technical adviser said that the partnership covers four areas, “Primary Health Care Under One Roof, PHCUOR, Routine Immunisation, Family Planning, and Child Killer Diseases/pneumonia & diarrhoea.”

Mr Abanda, therefore, challenged community health practitioners in the country to make themselves relevant through continuous education and training in order to become relevant in the nation’s healthcare delivery system.

Also speaking, the National president of NACNPN, Akor Ekechukwu Jude, lamented the inaccessibility of healthcare services in the remote and rural areas of the country.

He said the challenges can only be addressed using competent community health practitioners

Mr Jude pointed out that it was on that basis that his association decided to partner PACFaH@scale in order to improve healthcare service delivery to Nigerians.

He, therefore, frowned at the decision of the federal government to engage community health influencers and promoters despite having hundreds of thousands of trained but unemployed community health practitioners in the country.

The president, however, described as unfortunate the critical human resources gaps created as a result of little or none engagement of his members in the growth and development of the country’s healthcare system.

He then commended PACFaH@scale for the continuous support to the nation’s healthcare delivery systems, describing such efforts as unprecedented.