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Buhari approves Nigeria’s hosting of int’l summit on primary health care

Determined to build on milestones attained in managing the coronavirus pandemic, President Muhammadu Buhari has given his consent to Nigeria’s hosting an international summit on Primary Health Care.

Health managers are fine-tuning details of the global summit which is expected to leverage on efforts in kicking the wild polio virus out of the country and the deft management of COVID-19.

Barring last minute changes, the summit will hold in Abuja before the end of October or early November in actualisation of the promise made earlier by the executive director of the National Primary Health Care Development Agency, Faisal Shuaib to prioritise strengthening the PHC system through a robust revitalisation agenda.

Recall that last year, the agency had engaged with the heads of community medicine departments of universities to discuss and receive critical feedback on prevailing issues of interest to primary health care development in Nigeria. It also met other critical stakeholders in the bid to strengthen the PHC system and deliver affordable, accessible and equitable services.

“My vision is to strengthen PHC systems to deliver affordable, accessible and equitable services to all Nigerians. It is in this light that we will be convening a global PHC Summit in 2021 with the theme: Strengthening PHC towards achieving universal health coverage in post-Polio, Peri-COVID era.

Read also: HealthPlus launches Nigeria’s first digital ePharmacy

“The overall goal of the summit is to galvanise stakeholders and present a compelling investment case for PHC financing, leveraging on the gains made during the polio eradication to strengthen PHC systems from 2021 to 2030. I am optimistic that this event will be a success and a global agenda to be reckoned with,” Shuaib said.

The summit aligns with the ‘Next Level Agenda’ of the minister of health, Osagie Ehanire in addressing inadequacy of primary health care services in the country and the need to revitalise one PHC in each ward in demonstration of prioritising community based health care and scaling up the community health influencers, promoters and services, CHIPS, programme launched by President Buhari in 2018 at Lafia, Nasarawa State.

CHIPS is designed to improve access and equitable coverage to essential health services, especially those relating to maternal, new born and child survival. It will also remove barriers to PHC services; ensure supply of integrated PHC interventions by linking the health workforce at health centres in rural and underserved communities to the households; tackling delays in decision to seek care, reaching care and receiving adequate healthcare.

The summit will also rally the support of the Coalition Against COVID-19, CACOVID – the private sector-led organisation assembled by the Central Bank of Nigeria to assist the federal government in combating COVID-19. The coalition of industry giants, banks and several private organisations and individuals raised huge funds to procure essential supplies, equipment while also accelerating tests and treatment for COVID-19.

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