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April 24, 2024
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Minister of Health and Social Welfare, Prof. Ali Pate

Health ministry to increase PHCs benefitting from basic healthcare fund

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By Aderogba George

The Ministry of Health and Social Welfare targets increasing the number of Primary HealthCare Centres (PHCs) benefiting from Basic Health Care Provision Fund (BHCPF) from 8,809 to 17, 618.

The Coordinating Minister of Health and Social Welfare, Prof. Ali Pate, said this in Abuja on Wednesday at 11th Biennial Conference of the Africa Christian Health Association Platform (ACHAP).

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the theme of the conference is “The journey to achieving Universal Health Coverage (UHC) in Africa; Experiences and Lessons from the Faith Communities.”

It was put together by Christian Health Association of Nigeria (CHAN).

Pate was represented by Dr Muyi Aina, the Chief Executive Officer, National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA).

He said that the plan to increase the centres was targeted at meeting up with UHC across all state and FCT by 2027.

According to Pate, the Federal Government plans to double the number of fully functional PHCs being funded for infrastructural upgrades and operational costs, to ensure high quality services across the country.

He said that each of these PHCs would be linked to a secondary facility providing comprehensive emergency obstetrics and newborn care as well as a referral system.

He said that the Federal Government was also strengthening collaboration with States Primary Healthcare Agencies and Boards and States Health Insurance Agencies to deliver efficient, equitable, and trusted PHC services accessible to all.

Pate said that the ministry would work with the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) to ensure early and prompt response to disease outbreaks and improve effectiveness of all health campaigns while routinising most basic services.

He said that BHCPF had been redesigned, adding that strong PHC system was a veritable tool to achieving UHC.

He said that BHCPF has redesigned as the foundational basis for the sector-wide approach, to address high cost of healthcare, enhance access to essential healthcare services as outlined in the National Health Act 2014.

The minister said that development partners’ financial resources had also been mobilised into a common pool, to also help drive in the target of UHC.

He said that the ministry envisaged that it would mobilise about 2.5 million dollars in pooled and non-pooled funds within the period of 2024-2026, to improve the country’s PHC system.

“Consequently, we have initiated an innovative health sector reform driven by the UHC goal of making quality and affordable health care accessible to all citizens irrespective of their socio-economic status, known as the Nigerian Health Sector Renewal Investment Programme (NHSRIP).

“This blueprint encapsulates our strategic vision for the sector in the next three years. Our goal is to save lives, reduce physical and financial pain and produce health for all Nigerians.

“The vision has four key pillars- effective governance; efficient, equitable and quality health system.

“We have adopted the Sector Wide Approach (SWaP) to drive this vision and the role of CHAN as influencers and service providers, in translating this vision to actionable interventions cannot be overemphasised.

“It is pertinent to state that our vision is not just a blueprint for transforming the health sector, but a share commitment of all stakeholders to a heathier and more prosperous Nigeria,” Pate said.

Mrs Nkatha Njeru, Chief Executive Officer, ACHAP, said the programme was basically to reflect on what Christian Health Associations (CHAs) were doing in their various countries in terms of provision of good healthcare services.

She said the programme was also to share ideas among all CHAs and to find a common ground where they could be of help to each other from their various countries.

“We are here in Nigeria bringing together christian health associations that are national organisations in their own countries. In their countries they bring together mission health facilities programmes.

“So, what we are doing is just reflecting on our roles on UHC, countries cannot do it alone, we all needs to work together, we as faith actors reflecting on our roles in helping our respective countries to achieve UHC.

“We exist in communities, we provide service delivery through health organisations, in many Africa countries we provide 70 per cent of healthcare to compliment government effort.

“This programme is also reflecting on what we should continue to do as health organisations, or the area government will want us to work with them to ensure that we achieve UHC,” she said. (NAN) (www.nannews.ng)

Edited by Chidinma Agu/Vivian Ihechu

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