Healthcare experts and civil society organisations working under the Partnership for Advocacy in Child and Family Health (PACKFAH) at Scale have asked Governor Nasir El-Rufai to prioritise full implementation of the Primary Health Care Under One Roof (PHCUOR) to fast track the attainment of Universal Health Coverage in Kaduna State.
The group in collaboration with Kaduna State University and Open Government Partnership made the call during the 2019 International Conference on Contemporary Issues in Social Sciences Research at the Kaduna State University, KASU.
The Project Director of PACKFAH at Scale Kaduna, Mustapha Jumare, presented their findings from the assessment of 255 primary healthcare centres in the state.
He said the ongoing renovation of the 255 PHCs and the review of the 2019 Health budget showed significant compliance with the policy requirements needed to catapult the attainment of universal health coverage in the state.
He said non-release of budget allocation and the inability of the State Primary Health Care Board to include primary health care under one roof implementation in the state and sub-state under the state’s primary health care board has become a serious challenge to healthcare delivery in the state.
Mr Jumare said understaffed PHCs and the inability of the PHCs to operate 24-hour service are a bottleneck to adequate healthcare delivery in the state.
“Kaduna State government in 2019 Budget allocated N2,462,570,274 for PHCs renovation and upgrading and construction in the state; 15,985,600 for furnishing of three Zonal Cold Stores at Zaria, Kaduna and Kafanchan; and N550,000,000 as counterpart funding. from January till date but the state has not released any fund,” he said.
Mr Jumare further disclosed that spot check assessment revealed that most PHCs are not operating 24-hour services and only 48 per cent of the PHC assessed operate 24-hour services.
In his presentation, James Akpos of the department of sociology, Kaduna State University, charged the state government to invest in the health sector as a panacea to the on-going socio-economic challenges facing the state. He said with the adequate funding of the health sector, the state will be in the best position to deliver the needed dividend of democracy.
A professor of Community Medicine at the university, Nambam Omale, challenged academics to provide solutions to the various challenges facing the health sector, adding that research is the backbone of national development worldwide.
The Executive Secretary of the State Primary Health Care Development Agency, Hamza Abubakar, represented by a director at the agency, Iliyasu Neyu,said the state government was investing in the health sector and has prioritised funding the sector in view of the significance of health to the socio-economic development of the state.
“No nation develops without healthy citizens; that is why the state government is fulfilling all its commitment in the areas of funding, policy implementation and infrastructural development,” he said.