Youth groups call for equipping of primary healthcare centres nationwide

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By Emmanuel Afonne

A coalition of youth groups has called for the establishment and equipping of primary healthcare centres  in the country to enable communities vulnerable to diseases have access to medical care and healthy life.

The coalition under the auspices of the Nigerian Youth Union (NYU), led by Mr Chinonso Obasi, made the call at a news conference on Wednesday in Abuja.

The coalition, made up of 10 youth and student groups including the National Youth Council of Nigeria, expressed concern over the loss of lives in the country due to the poor healthcare system.

The leader of the group stressed the importance of primary healthcare centres to the reduction of maternal and infant mortality rates in the country.

Obasi noted that the previous agreement with the Ministry of Health and other stakeholders on the establishment of these healthcare centres failed to yield fruits.

He, therefore, urged the Nigeria Governors Forum (NGF) to step in to address the issue.

“We had an exhaustive meeting with the Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire, other top management of the ministry and security personnel.

“With the privileged information before us from the Minister of Health, it is our resolve to take our protest to the NGF and Association of Local Government of Nigeria (ALGON).

“We are deeply pained and grossly disenchanted that some state governors are totally dictating what happens at the local government level with particular emphasis on directly controlling a great chunk of local government funds,” he said.

According to him, the masses are at the receiving end as the power tussle for control of the local government funds rages on.

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“Healthcare is too important to be the subject of such needless control tussles and we shall therefore proceed to bear our pains for the needful to be done by the NGF and ALGON.

“We reiterate our call on the NGF to refrain from resisting the efforts to build and equip more primary healthcare centres particularly in the face of the current spike in COVID-19 cases and other mysterious ailments,” Obasi said.

He said that Nigerian youths, students and civil society groups would continue to resist the anti-people stand of stampeding access to healthcare at the local level.

Obasi urged the governors to collaborate with private individuals to provide basic healthcare at the local/community level, as the coalition would not fail to mobilise its members, if need be, to press home their demands to the NGF and ALGON.

Yoruba Youth Parliament, Coalition of Northern Groups,  National Association of University Students, National Association of Polytechnic Students and NANS Zone B comprising South South and South East students were some of the other members of the coalition. (NAN)

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