FG begins PHC revitalisation
- Buhari inaugurates Kuchigoro PHC
- Says vision is to revitalise 10,000 centres in phases
- To renovate one centre in each senatorial zone
President Muhammadu Buhari kicked off the revitalisation of Primary Health centres (PHCs) nationwide yesterday as he inaugurated the Kuchigoro PHC in Abuja with a promise to ensure access to quality basic healthcare.
In his address, the President explained that his administration chose to revitalize 1,000 PHCs across the country, in batches, to achieve quality health for people in the country.
The pilot phase of the project has one PHC being renovated in each senatorial zone of the country (including a facility in Niger State where Lassa fever was first reported in 2014)
Buhari explained that the initiative would address gross inequalities in health access and outcomes by catering for all less-privileged citizens, especially women, children and the elderly.
“Our goal of revitalizing the primary health care centres is to ensure that quality basic health care services are delivered to majority of Nigerians, irrespective of their location in the country.
“We shall focus more on the people living in the rural areas and the vulnerable population in our society such as women, children under five years of age and the elderly, in collaboration with national and international partners.
“Let me state clearly, that this revitalization programme is in alignment with the agenda of our party, the All Progressive Congress (APC).
“We did promise to provide succour to the poor while at the same time providing for all other segments of the society. I am aware that out-of-pocket payment for health constitute over 70% of total health expenditure. This is more than the globally recommended 30-40%.
“However, only less than five percent of the total population is covered by any kind of health insurance or risk protection mechanism which is against the recommended 90% coverage by the World Health Organisation.”
He went on: “Our administration, in recognition of this, promise to revitalize one primary health care centre in each of the political wards in the country.
“So far, we have commenced the revitalization of one primary health care in each senatorial zone in the country. Our vision is to revitalise 10,000 primary health care facilities in Nigeria using a phased approach.
“The first phase of this approach is what we are flagging off today. It will signal the revitalization of the first 109 Primary Health Care facilities across the 36 states and the FCT.
“I want to assure Nigerians that government will continue to ensure that great numbers of Nigerians have access to quality basic health care services. Accordingly, the provision in the National Health Act, 2014 for the Basic Health Care Provision Fund is in the process of being implemented.
“I am hopeful that our women will no more be dying needlessly during childbirth; our children will no more be dying needlessly as a result of vaccine preventable diseases or common ailment; access to health care will not be limited because of lack of money to pay.”
He commended all the development partners for their support to Nigeria toward achieving health care system in the country
In his address, Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Adewole, said: “Every year, Nigeria as a country is losing $1 billion to domestic tourism. So,, what we are doing today is implementing universal goal to make healthcare accessible to all our people.
“It is a pro-poor initiative and will have tremendous direct benefits on household economics. All the common problem that are afflicting Nigeria will be address.
“A cardinal philosophy of the current administration was to ensure the implementation of UHC through the availability of quality healthcare services in an equitable manner without any financial barriers at the point of accessing health care.”
“What we are saying is that we want everybody irrespective of whether educated or not, irrespective of whether they have resources or not, irrespective of where they live to have access to quality health care and this commissioning today is one simple manifestation of the achievement of the goal.”
Minister added that; “apart from providing quality healthcare to everyone irrespective of his or her status, the concept would provide employment, stimulate growth of pharmaceutical industries.”
Speaking also, the Acting Director National Primary Health Care Development Agency NPHCDA, Mr Emmanuel Odu, assured that the initiative which is channeled toward rural dwellers will be sustained.
“Its about community service, community people are the ultimate beneficiaries. I believe with the array of stakeholders put together in this initiative, no stone will be left unturned to ensure better healthcare service to all Nigerians.
“We are targeting 109, but this is flag off phase. We have completed the work in two primary healthcare centers facilities which are Fuka in Niger state and Kuchigoro in FCT.
“We will now scale up beyond this two facilities at least to each of senatorial district across the country.