By Asma’u Ahmad
The Federal Government says it is revitalizing 4000 Primary Healthcare Centres across the country to achieve Universal Health Coverage.
The Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Adewole, made the disclosure on Monday at a media parley held in Ibadan. It would be recalled that the President Muhammadu Buhari administration had on assumption of office promised to revitalise PHCs in the country to ensure qualitative and affordable healthcare delivery.
“We have been very relentless and target-driven in pursuing the noble objective. The president flagged off the revitalisation programme of PHCs on Jan. 10, 2016. We have secured international partnership to make the idea work; work is either completed or ongoing at 4,000 locations nationwide in PHC intervention sites.
“The UK government supported us with 950; World Bank and European Union are doing 1,400 and 700 respectively. The wife of the Senate President is assisting with 36 PHCs, each located in all the states of the federation, FCT ministry assures on rehabilitation of 200 and the Federal Government will make 1,000 of the PHCs work at the expiration of the 2017 budget,” he said.
The minister stated that the country has 30,000 PHCs, adding that current efforts were to reach no fewer than 100 million Nigerians from the revitalisation of 10,000 PHCs. He stated that the revitalised PHCs would be adequately equipped and filled with medical personnel.
“The centres will provide support in antenatal care, administration of vaccines, test for blood sugar, urine and blood pressure and other tropical related diseases to reduce pressure on the teaching hospitals.
“Our primary goal in the ministry is to strengthen the sector so that it can deliver affordable, accessible and qualitative services at all levels. States like Bauchi, Borno, Abia and Kaduna are doing a lot in that regard too,” he added.
Prof Adewole said that the actualisation of the initiative would save the country not less than one billion dollars being lost to medical tourism. He stated that it would also drastically reduce the unnecessary pressure on the foreign exchange to make the economy more stable.
The minister also said the National hospital in Abuja, Lagos University Teaching Hospital and six other teaching hospitals would receive attention through the strategic resuscitation fund from the 2017 budget.
He said the teaching hospitals located in each of the geo-political zones would be equipped with state-of-the-art equipment and technology to deliver renal and cancer treatment in Nigeria.