• Wednesday, May 29, 2024
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BusinessDay

Revitalisation of Nigeria’s primary healthcare receives boost with WHO-private sector pact

USAID tasks Nigerian government on health insurance for Nigerians

In a bid to address the dire state of primary healthcare facilities in Nigeria, the World Health b (WHO) has joined forces with the Private Sector Health Alliance of Nigeria through the “Adopt-A-Healthcare Facility Programme (ADHFP).”

The collaboration aims to breathe new life into the country’s Primary Healthcare Centres (PHCs), which have long been plagued by dysfunction and inadequate resources.

Nigeria has hundreds of PHCs that are not functioning, or functioning sub-optimally. The House of Representatives in October 2023, revealed that only 20 percent of PHCs in the country are functional.

Consequently, millions of Nigerians lack access to quality, basic healthcare, particularly the vulnerable demographic of over 84 million, who are left shouldering the burden of exorbitant out-of-pocket healthcare expenses; further exacerbating poverty.

Under the ADHFP, the ambitious goal is to establish at least one globally standardized PHC facility in each of Nigeria’s 774 Local Government Areas (LGAs) which is in line with the guidelines of the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA).

Speaking at the signing ceremony in Abuja, Walter Mulombo expressed optimism about the partnership’s potential to accelerate primary healthcare revitalization. He explained that the partnership will leverage on the comparative advantages of the two organizations to accelerate primary healthcare revitalization towards the achievement of Universal Health Coverage and health security in Nigeria in line with the one plan, one budget, one report, and one conversation principles of the Federal Ministry of Health.

Beyond establishing PHC facilities, the WHO representative said the Adopt-A-Healthcare Facility Programme will ensure that efforts of government and all stakeholders are integrated to avoid fragmentation and ensure sustainable and resilient PHC systems to prevent, detect and respond to infectious diseases and outbreaks.

He added that it will also ensure pooled funds cover PHC so that all citizens would access PHC services free at the point of service use while paying attention to equitable resource allocation and prioritisation of those most in need.

“Finally, with the people and results at the centre of the work we do, I am confident, that this partnership will be a catalyst for PHC revitalization and meaningful engagement of the private sector so together, we can promote health, provide health, and protect the health of all Nigerians for greater economic development”, Mulombo enthused.

In her remarks, Tinuola Akinbolagbe, MD/CEO, PSHAN, decried that Nigeria, despite her rich potential and abundant resources is grapples with hurdles in providing equitable, accessible, and affordable healthcare to its people.

According to her, inadequate primary healthcare infrastructure, limited access to essential healthcare services, and persistent health inequalities highlight the urgent need for concerted action.

“Our statistics on maternal mortality, infant mortality, communicable and non-communicable diseases further emphasize the need for systemic reform and strategic intervention,” she said.