By Iyema David
The National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA), said it will be holding the Primary Health Care Summit to launch a bold new programme to transform primary health care in the country.
Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire, who disclosed this to newsmen in Abuja, said the Summit, scheduled to take place on March 24 and 25, would have the private sector, government leaders and international partners in attendance.
According to him, the Summit is geared towards launching a historic programme to transform the under-resourced, weak primary health care system in Nigeria by leveraging the private sector, international agencies and seeking government collaboration.
“The Summit will bring together national elected leaders, top government officials, and leading private sector executives and present ambitious and attainable plans that will lead to tangible and large-scale 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,” he said.
“Primary health care is the foundation of the entire health system. Its strength is crucial to the functioning of all other levels.
“In order to meaningfully improve quality and accessibility of health care in Nigeria as a whole, we must urgently and comprehensively reform our Primary care system.”
Dr Ehanire said that as of now, only approximately 43 per cent of Nigerians have access to quality primary healthcare services with a ration of only four doctors available per 10,000 people.
He added this is a fraction of the minimum rate recommended by the United Nations (UN), for basic health coverage.
The minister said it is widely recognised that 70 per cent of disease burden could be prevented and managed at the PHC level.
Announcing the event, the Executive Director, NPHCDA, Dr Faisal Shuaib, said, “This launch is a call to join in the ambitious action to transform health in Nigeria for our future generations.
“A fit-for-purpose PHC system is foundational to delivering universal health coverage, national health security, and to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals in Nigeria.
“Nigeria eradicated Wild Polio Virus in the year 2020, a monumental achievement that followed decades of immunisation work. We proved that Nigeria’s PHC system is highly effective when properly funded.
“The summit will kick-start fund mobilisation to realise the programme’s goals – it will be an inclusive project, leveraging the know-how and resources of the private sector, government, and global development agencies.”
He explained that the programme was driven by the conviction that all Nigerians have the right to quality, accessible health care, and that current challenges could be solved through strategic, transparent consolidation of available funding.
He added that the challenges could also be resolved by a mobilisation among partners to collaborate on the urgent priority.
The project will prioritise 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.