Firm advocates massive investment in primary health care
Worried by the abysmal state of primary healthcare in Nigeria, a Swiss based a Non-Profit developmental aid organization, Support Switzerland and Artic infrastructure, Lagos have called for massive investment in primary level of health delivery to reduce the high rate of infant and maternal mortality.
President, Support, Switzerland, Dr. Vincent da-Silva, who led a delegation of the organization to Nigeria, made the call in Lagos at the graduation of traditional medical practitioners drawn from Makoko/Iwaya Waterfront community in Lagos.
Silva described primary care as the cornerstone of the healthcare system in any country and urged Nigeria government to be more open towards private initiatives in order to make health care affordable and accessible to the people.
According to him, since government alone cannot achieve affordable and accessible health care to the people, it is only wise to partner private sector with a view to using their amenities provided.
He stressed that more emphasis should be laid on primary health care as done in advanced countries, up to the secondary and to the tertiary level because the ordinary man in the street cannot easily assess health delivery in other levels.
Silva said the event was an effort to start a very rudimentary system of primary health care by empowering the traditional healers and birth attendants, who are often the first on ground.
He said: “As a private NGO, we thought we are in a position to initiate something like this to assist government in doing its work in the hope that they will take this in and continue on that level, work with other private sectors to achieve what they supposed to achieve”.
According to him, the idea is to take care of the majority of people so that by empowering them we are impacting knowledge so that they can do their jobs even better and the discrimination against them for doing quack medicine will fall off within time.
Also the Project Director, Artic Infrastructure, Lookman Oshodi stressed the need for investment in health infrastructure so as to improve the wellbeing of the majority of the people.
He said the involvement of Artic; a multidisciplinary infrastructural system organization was to give operators of health care facilities competence before the facilities are in place.
According to him, one thing is to have a facility, another thing it to have competent and human resources that can really operate that facility.
The graduation ceremony, he said, is the peak of different training programmes convened by the Arctic Infrastructure (AI), SUPPORT and LSTMB since 2016 with intensive technical support from the Lagos State Primary Healthcare Board and will, in due course, yield the implementation of the project to a new Non-Governmental Organization, Iroko Healthcare Support Initiative (IROHES) currently undergoing registration processes.
In his remarks, the Lagos state commissioner of health, Dr. Jide Idris called for collaboration with relevant stakeholders to reduce infant and maternal mortality in Lagos.
He congratulated the graduands and urged them to know their limit during their works.