Governor Inuwa Yahaya of Gombe State has said his administration revitalised and strengthened the Primary Health Centres (PHCs) in the state in order to reduce the burden on secondary health facilities and ensure easy access to quality healthcare by all and sundry.
Mr Yahaya stated this during an interactive session between state governors and high-level Gavi delegation on Zero-Dose Children, PHC Coordination and COVID-19 response in Nigeria, held at the Banquet Hall of the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, is an independent public-private partnership and multilateral funding mechanism that aims to expand global access to and use of vaccines, particularly among vulnerable children.
Mr Yahaya commented on his administration’s efforts at strengthening the health system and ensuring PHC autonomy through its Equity Fund in addition to the ongoing Basic Healthcare Provision Fund (BHCPF) which is a federal and state-funded initiative.
He told the gathering that Gombe has enacted a law recently that earmarked not less than one per cent of the state and local government’s consolidated revenue as an equity fund.
“This fund alongside the BHCPF is being used to enrol (the) poor and vulnerable in our communities, to access health care at their ward level PHC.
“This has created a sustained source of funding to the PHCs enabling them to conduct their activities without hindrance, including the conduct of regular outreaches to underserved communities,” he said.
He revealed that over 40,000 poor and vulnerable, including internally displaced persons from the insurgency-wrecked neighbouring states, have so far been fully covered under the state health insurance scheme, known as GoHealth.
“Our recent investment that saw the complete revitalisation of 1 PHC in every ward has greatly improved the confidence of the people in our public health system; and as such, with the commencement of the formal sector programme, we have witnessed the selection of public PHCs as their primary providers, despite having the option to select private facilities by the formal sector employees.”
He restated his administration’s commitment to uphold public trust, which he said is a key driver of uptake of essential health services, including immunisation. He noted that if adequate investment is made to improve the standard of the public health facilities and provide them with basic equipment and manpower, people will continue to have trust in the public health system.
During the meeting, special recognition was given to Gombe State governor for utilising limited resources available to impact the lives of the people of the state.
The governor was accompanied by the Commissioner of Health, Habu Dahiru, Special Adviser on Budget Planning and Development Partners Coordination and his Abuja Liaison counterpart, Usman Aliyu-Garry.
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