By Iyema David
The National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA), said the solution to solve Primary Health Care (PHC) problems in Nigeria is to tackle it from the foundation by overhauling the entire PHC system, stressing that re-imagining a broke system means a total turnaround.
The Executive Director, NPHCDA, Dr Faisal Shuaib, made the observation at a two days Primary Health Care Summit, organised by the NPHCDA.
The PHC summit aims to galvanize stakeholders to invest and collaboratively implement a Primary Health Care revitalization strategy for Nigeria. The Alma Ata PHC declaration has become the yardstick and benchmark to reaching achieving Universal Health Coverage (UHC). To reimagine PHC in Nigeria is to harness the brainpower of the country to redesign, revamp and restructure the health care sector in the country.
NPHCDA hosted 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, with the theme: ‘PHC re-imagining: evolving a resilient platform for achieving the country’s national and global health goals via a peri-covid era’
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.
Shuaib stated four-point agenda for re-imagining PHCs that would aimed at funding and implementing strategies that work.
“When we ask for more it should reflect on more service delivery. We have to bring our PHCs up to speed, as we have many underutilized PHCs in Nigeria,” he explained.
He also disclosed that only 27 per cent of health workers at the PHC level had permanent staff, noting that this was why the citizens were paying out of pocket to access healthcare services.
“Without addressing these challenges, we will not achieve the SDGs. Everybody here today has a part to play in changing the current state of the country’s PHCs. Now is the time for us to talk and deliver solutions that will radically transform the PHCs in the country,” he said.
According to him, as a Nation, we have a track record of delivering a positive impact on public health when the funding, coordination is there. We can build on our experience combating COVID-19, Ebola, Polio and other health challenges to ensure we deliver on the promises to transform the country’s PHC.
At the first panel discussion, Making the Case for Re-imagining PHC, Sen. Chukwuka Godfrey Utazi, Chairman Senate Committee on PHC and Communicable Diseases, said that making a case for re-imagining PHC must be practical in order to address a variety of issues.
“I’m talking about having one fully functional PHC in every political ward that can serve the community members.
“The next step is to consider a unique pay structure and incentives to encourage qualified personnel to work in these PHCs at the grass root levels in our communities,” Utazi noted.