By Asma’u Ahmad
The Kaduna State Government has renewed its commitment to building strong healthcare services through the Primary Health Care (PHC) system.
The state Commissioner for Health, Dr Paul Dogo, said this at a one-day Policy Dialogue on implementation of Primary Healthcare Under One Roof (PHCUOR) organised by Health Reform Foundation of Nigeria (HERFON) on Thursday in Kaduna.
He said the absence of strong healthcare system in the past made delivery weak and ineffective, noting that “one of the problems we have is that our system is weak and we do not improve on it.
“The Kaduna state government is building a system that is resilient. Once you have strong system, whichever investment you make gives result.“We have resolved to build strong PHCs in the domains and take things holistic so that what we provide will stand the test of time,” Dogo said.
The commissioner assured that efforts were in top gear to ensure PHCs in the state served the purposes they were established for. He said the state government had been doing a lot to revitalise PHCs, citing the renovation and expansion of 255 PHCs in the state. He added that 23 secondary health centres were also undergoing transformation to serve as referrals from the PHCs.
Dogo noted that in consolidating on gains of immunisation, the state government hoped to get citizens motivated and seek services at the PHCs. “We also went into partnership on routine immunisation. We hope we would get to the point we won’t need to go door to door, but people will go to PHCs to get immunised,” he stressed.
The commissioner said dialogue would afford them the opportunity of true reflection on PHCUOR and how to improve on the policy. “When doing something, you may think you are doing well, but when assessed, you will improve. I thank every one of you for giving us the opportunity,” he said.
Dr Dogo pointed out that the current administration in the state under Governor Nasir El-Rufa’i convened a health summit in less than six weeks where problems were discussed and solutions suggested.
Newsmen report that the policy dialogue is organised to update the knowledge of major stakeholders on the concept of bringing the PHCUOR and to know the status progress in implementing the nine pillars of PHC in the state since the last scorecard.
The Chairman Board of Trustees, HERFON, Dr Idris Mohammed, stressed the need for providing adequate healthcare to people in rural areas through PHC facilities.“HERFON believes that without having PHC under one roof, people in rural areas would still be short changed in healthcare services,” he said.
He said that since independence, there has been no health legislation. “What we have had so far was the health policy, which has no force of law, so those found wanting could not be dealt with,” Mohammed said.
According to him, another issue being faced by PHCs is that of man power, which is experienced in all states. He explained that the national health policy shares the health sector into primary, secondary and tertiary levels, with primary for local government areas, secondary for states and tertiary for the federal government, but expressed disappointment that it is not strictly adhered to. Mohammed pointed out that there are set out standards called scorecard used to assess states.