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Invest in PHCs to prevent 200 maternal death – UNICEF

by Haruna Gimba
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By Iyema David

The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), said investing in Primary Healthcare Centres is a cornerstone for preventing maternal and child mortality in Nigeria, where 200 women die of preventable diseases.

UNICEF Nigeria Chief of Health, Dr Eduardo Celades Blanco, who said this to newsmen in Abuja, said the investment is the right choice the Nigerian government has taken.

It was reported that the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA), will be hosting the private sector, government leaders, and international partners, at the Summit, launching a bold new programme to transform primary health care in Nigeria.

The Summit is geared towards launching a historic programme to transform the under-resourced, weak primary health care system in Nigeria by leveraging private sector, international agencies and government collaboration.  

The Summit will bring together national elected leaders, top government officials, and leading private sector executives to present ambitious and attainable plans that will lead to tangible and largescale changes to Nigeria’s primary health care (PHC) system by the year 2030.

The programme, dubbed “Reimagining PHC,” is solutions-focused and dedicated to delivering improved PHC services across the country.

Blanco said that the COVID-19 pandemic had highlighted the importance of investing in PHCs and there was no better time to sustain such investment in the PHCs and for the country to build back better with resilient, affordable and accessible health care for its citizens.

He disclosed that Nigeria had just reached a milestone of fully vaccinating 10 million Nigerians on the COVID-19 ongoing mass immunization exercise across the country.

He, however said that UNICEF was implementing the PHC Leadership Challenge Fund, that would incentivize PHC improvements in the 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory, through catalytic funds for states that show marked improvement in PHC.

Reimagining PHC of the country is an ambitious, transformative project to improve and expand primary health care (PHC) in Nigeria by the year 2030.

The project plans to utilize innovative financing mechanisms to boost financing sources in order to: increase the number and quality of health care workers; upgrade the infrastructure of facilities; ensure availability of equipment, essential medicines, and commodities; modernize information, data management and tech systems; and leverage medical technologies as alternative methods for service delivery.  

The project will prioritize community participation and is committed to transparent, accountable, results-driven implementation. “Reimagining PHC” is led by the National Primary Health Care Development agency, with the support of partners.

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