By Asma’u Ahmad
The National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA) says it will establish a Leadership Development Academy to be affiliated to world-class universities.
Executive Director of NPHCDA, Dr Faisal Shuaib, made this known during the inauguration of its Technical Support Programme (TSP) on Tuesday in Abuja.
According to him, the fellowship was completely different from the fellowship that was awarded by the National Postgraduate College of Public Health.
“This is a three to four months programme, but at the end of three or six months programme the participants are fellows in public health. What we are looking for is the collaboration between the agency and academic institutions; we want to deepen such collaborations.
“Once doctors or other health workers went to academic institutions for fellowship or masters’ in public health they may have an opportunity to come to NPHCDA and spend some months additional experience on PHC.
“At the end of the day, we have professionals that know what happens at health facilities and have gotten their hands dirty on how to provide better health services at PHCs,” he said.
The executive director said the agency in collaboration with Solina Health with funding from Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation developed a structured and coherent technical support programme.
He added that the programme would enable the agency to effectively deliver the required technical support to states to address gaps in the delivery of primary healthcare services.
Inaugurating the TSP, the Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Adewole, said the National Council of Health had approved the establishment of the programme within the NPHCDA and states healthcare development agencies as part of the efforts to address challenges in the health sector.
He added that the TSP was meant to strengthen the NPHCDA to effectively coordinate the delivery of technical support to the state healthcare boards.
He said the TSP would also allow state governments to have structured and more responsive platforms for effective technical support from the NPHCDA.
Adewole said the two elements of TSP aligned with core objectives of the health sector, adding that they are also in tandem with the technical needs of the state governments and human capital agenda of President Muhammadu Buhari.
The minister said TSP also empowered NPHCDA to establish leadership academy to build a team of highly skilled personnel in-house, adding that the skilled personnel will be able to lead and coordinate the delivery of assistance to the states in short term.
Adewole said the academy would also serve as a pool of NPHCDA staff are adjudged as model employees and change agents in the NPHCDA.
He added that the academy would ultimately evolve into a PHC development centre that would build the capacity of the health workers in the 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
The minister said the institute would also train postgraduate fellows and others in public health and management. “This, I believe will facilitate the emergence of skilled workforce which are of critical requirement for attainment of Universal Health Coverage in Nigeria,’’ the minister said.