LAPO laments shortage of medical equipment, professionals at PHCs
The Executive Director, Lift Above Poverty Organization (LAPO), Sabina Idowu-Osehobo, has lamented the inadequate presence of health professionals in various Primary Healthcare Centres (PHCs) in rural communities nationwide.
The situation, according to her, has resulted in poor access to health services for rural dwellers who tend to bear a greater disease burden.
She spoke yesterday at the take-off ceremony for LAPO Community Health Outreach at Ikpoba-Okha local council in Benin City, Edo State.
Osehobo decried the alarming poor state of most PHCs infrastructure in the country which she attributed to low government spending and weak institutions,
She said 20 per cent of mortality in under-five children was due mostly to poor neonatal, antenatal and postnatal care as well as high prevalence of malaria, diarrhoee and pneumonia.
She emphasized the benefits of good health, stressing that LAPO strongly believes that poverty is reinforced by ill- health.
“We also believe that poor rural dwellers, women and children are more affected and disadvantaged. It has been established that Nigeria’s health indicators have either stagnated or worsen during the past decade. Life expectancy of 54.4 years is below the African average of 60 years.
Also, maternal mortality is recently put at over 600 per 100,000 live births due to poor access to skilled birth attendants,” Osehobo said.She stated that the NGO has improved the health condition of over 500,000 community members across the country with services including screening for malaria, HIV, Hepatitis, blood sugar/pressure.
“Over 1.2 million persons were supported with health awareness programmes in year 2016 alone. Between October 2015 and December 2016, a total of 3,875 persons benefited from our community Health Outreach programm in various communities in Edo state covering full medical compliments and surgery,” she said.
According to her, a combination of these issues ranging from poor access to health services for rural dwellers necessitated the LAPO Community Health Outreach, which provides medical consultants and specialist doctors to target communities, to deliver quality healthcare services obtainable in tertiary teaching hospitals at no cost to the beneficiaries.