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Lagos moves to revive primary healthcare system

… identifies 329 PHCs for upgrade post-COVID-19

Challenged by the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic and its devastating impact on the nation’s healthcare system, Lagos State government is seen in a move to upgrade its primary healthcare facilities.

The expected upgrade would ensure that low and middle-class residents have access to medical services offered Primary Health Centres (PHCs) at reasonable distance.

To drive the process through, the state government said on Wednesday it had identified and carried an assessment of some 329 PHCs most of which are in a comatose state, for upgrade and improvement of service delivery.

The upgrade, according to Akin Abayomi, the state commissioner for health, would focus on infrastructure, data management, power supply, water supply, drug supply, sewage management and adequate staffing.

Other areas to receive attention include Immunisation , bridging of communication gap between the state ministry of health, local government and primary healthcare board, facility management, monitoring, financing mechanism, insurance scheme.

These, the commissioner said, have been the challenge for third-tier of healthcare delivery in the state.

“We are not unmindful of the challenges facing primary healthcare system. This is the reason why we embarked on the assessment exercise as part of our plan to effect major and lasting transformations that will make access to healthcare facilities at the grassroots hitch free,” said Abayomi.

The commissioner said the government equipped with knowledge of identified gaps, had already started renovating some PHCs across the state to bridge the gaps.

He said: “23 of these PHCs are completed and ready for commissioning while others are at various stages of completion.”

 Recognising the prime place of PHC in the overall healthcare delivery system, the commissioner advocated for greater synergy between the ministry of health, the local government authorities and the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA) to have a robust and viable service delivery at the grassroots level, stressing that it would only amount to an exercise in futility if all stakeholders work at variance.

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