The Federal Government has flagged off a scheme to revitalise over 10,000 healthcare centers across Nigeria.
The scheme is to avail poor Nigerians with qualitative and affordable health services, the Minister of Health, Isaac Adewole, said on Tuesday at the commissioning of the Model Primary Health Care Centre, Kuchigoro in Abuja, to begin the scheme.
Under the National Primary Healthcare Revitalization Initiative, Nigeria, through the National Primary Health Care Development Agency, NPHCDA, and the Federal Ministry of Health, wants to make at least one primary health care centre fully functional to deliver a number of services in each of the wards across the country.
“The health system in the country has only favored the rich”, Mr. Adewole lamented at the event.
“But under the present administration, we are focusing on ensuring that the poor have access to qualitative and affordable health care services.
“The 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,” he said.
Mr. Adewole reiterated that the initiative would provide qualitative and affordable health services for the people, basically the poor.
He added that if all primary centres were functioning well, at least 70% of Nigeria’s problems would have been solved.
The minister said the ministry had developed guidelines for the utilisation of the Basic Healthcare Provision Fund, in an effort to make good use of funds and resources.
He said the guidelines would ensure transparency and accountability in the country’s health sector.
He however called on the private sector to participate in the management and implementation of various health services across the country.
Mr. Adewole disclosed that the federal government was partnering with the National Agency for the Control of HIV/AIDS, NACA, and other parties to ensure that primary healthcare centres have all it takes to provide qualitative services.
Commending the Minister for his effort, President Muhammadu Buhari, who was at the ceremony, urged state governors to make reviving the centres a vital part of their agenda.
He said that the federal government had, through the Saving One Million Lives Initiative, provided $1.5 million to each state government and the Federal Capital Territory Administration to ensure quality health care to women and children.
The president said the Kuchigoro centre was renovated as a model primary health care centre where quality health care services will be obtained at little or no cost to the beneficiaries.
Mr. Buhari however called on those involved to ensure that the facility continues to work optimally by using it and ensuring that the health professionals are delivering quality services.
Emmanuel Odu, acting Executive Director of NPHCDA, said while the agency has the target to revitalize 109 Health Care facilities across the country, under the scheme’s first phase, it has completed two already.
“We are targeting 109 but we have completed the work in two healthcare facilities, Voka in Niger State and Kunchigoro in the FCT,” he said.
“Having President Muhammadu Buhari flagging off the revitalization of a nationwide initiative means so much”, the director stated.
“It kick starts the process of getting Primary healthcare services available to all Nigerians everywhere, especially in the rural areas and it is a great development.”
Mr. Odu however assured Nigerians that the programme will be sustained beyond this administration, because of the array of stakeholders that have been put together around the initiative.