EPISON decries state of PHC in Nigeria
Epidemiological Society of Nigeria (EPISON) has decried the poor state of Primary Health Care (PHC) in the country, saying it needs urgent attention to avoid disease outbreak and untimely deaths in rural communities.
The society also said that poor implementation of PHC since the establishment of the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA) was responsible for about 80 per cent of deaths in rural communities across the nation.
It made the claim yesterday through the spokesman, Dr. Tolu Fakeye, during its 8th Annual Scientific Conference, which was supported by the Partnership for Advocacy in Child and Family Health (PACFaH) in Jos, Plateau State.
Fakeye, in his paper tagged ‘A Scooping Mission on Primary Health Care Under One Roof in Nigeria’, said that when the Federal Government introduced NPHCDA, implementation of PHC was 82 per cent; but due to poor handling, it dropped to less than 50 per cent.
He added that it was disheartening that all the states in the country were facing shortage of skilled health personnel for the delivery of PHC, especially in rural areas.
“When PHC started in Nigeria, many African countries came to learn how it was done; but due to poor implementation of policies, Nigeria’s performance declined,” said he.
In his remarks, chairman of the conference, Prof. Michael Asuzu, frowned on the level at which the PHC policies were implemented.
He said, “It was poor the way PHC was implemented. Our zonal scores show that North East and North West regions even fared better than other regions of the country, while states in South East and South South recorded the least performance.”
For PHC to be better, Asuzu recommended intensification of advocacy to councils, training of PHC workers, and expansion of technical assistance to enhance capacity of the workers and increase in the funding of PHCs, among others.
Meanwhile, the Chief Executive Officer, Institute of Human Virology, Nigeria, Dr. Patrick Dakum, has tasked healthcare providers to come up with solution to some of the basic health challenges facing the country.
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