By Haruna Gimba
The Nigerian Senate has passed a motion to increase budgetary allocation for the management of Primary Healthcare Centres (PHCs) in the country.
The resolution of the Senate was hinged on a motion sponsored by Sentor Oluremi Tinubu on the need to increase funding of PHCs for the benefits of Nigerians. The motion was co-sponsored by 108 other senators.
The PHCs in Nigeria was adopted in 1998 by the National Health Policy to provide, promotive, curative and rehabilitative services.
She said the health problems were traced to the low performance of PHC facilities.
The senator added that available indicators from World Bank survey showed that the performance of PHC was being hampered by lack of financial resources, infrastructure deficit, and lack of drugs, equipment and vaccines.
Tinubu quoted the Frontiers in Public Health Journal as having said that, “Only about 20 per cent of the 30, 000 PHC centres in Nigeria are working with most of them lacking the capacity to provide essential services.”
She said the failure of PHC and the belief that it is for low -income earners had resulted in an influx of patients to secondary and tertiary health care facilities.
The Senate, in addition to increase of the funding, urged the Ministry of Health to create awareness on benefits of health and life insurance.
They also directed the Ministry of Environment to put in place policies to ensure that every employer of labour has health insurance package for employees and also urged Federal and State Ministries of Health to encourage medical technological innovations in primary health facilities in their respective domains.