By Haruna Gimba
The Minister of Health, Professor Isaac Adewole said the Federal Government will establish one Primary Healthcare Centre in each ward across the 774 Local Government Areas of the country.
Professor Adewole stated this in Abuja at a forum entitled: ‘Policy maker summit: Evidence and Prospects for a Healthy Nigeria.’
Represented by Minister of State for Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire, the minister expressed hope that the centres would create access to healthcare for the people.
“In our quest to improve health output, we aim to provide one PHC per ward in Nigeria, culminating in about 10,000 facilities. These facilities will be functional, service-ready and able to provide quality services at affordable cost,” Dr. Osagie said.
According to the minister, health is a major factor in the quest for national development. He expressed satisfaction that in the last 10 years, Nigeria had recorded progress and challenges in the sector.
Listing some of the achievements, he said between 1990 and 2008, maternal mortality in Nigeria fell from 1,100 to 546 deaths per 100,000 live births.
He also said the average estimated number of malarial infections had declined by 20 per cent since 2000.
In a speech at the occasion, the Acting Country Director of the World Bank, Sateh El-Arnaout, said much was expected from Nigeria in the health sector as Africa’s most populous nation.
El-Arnaout, however, identified poverty as a major hindrance to healthcare access and provision.
He noted that the summit was aimed at taking stock and to share valuable experiences relating to four health sector impact evaluations.
He identified the four sector impact as maternal and child health, primary health care service delivery, prevention of sexually transmitted infections and prevention and treatment of malaria.