FCT strengthens referral system for better healthcare accessibility

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By Franca Ofili

Dr Adedolapo Fasawe, FCT-HES Mandate Secretary, said on Monday that the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) has strengthened its health system as patients are now documented electronically.

Fasawe said this in Abuja during a two-day Area Council Dissemination meeting on United States Agency for International Development – Integrated Health Programme (USAID IHP) project in the FCT.

According to her, the five years USAID IHP expanded technical support to Nigeria is designed to champion reduction in child and maternal morbidity and mortality in FCT.

“Due to the intervention of IHP, we have almost perfected our referral system; when people go to the primary healthcare centres, they will be documented electronically and can be referred without stress.

“We have more than 60 sets of closed user telephones donated to us through the project.

“Now our two referral system is very smooth because, before a patient is taking from one spot to the other, somebody will be excepting the person at the other end,” she said.

On maternal mortality, Fasawe said that the present administration had zero tolerance for it.

According to her, IHP has helped in ensuring that no woman dies due to childbirth complications.

“The project helped us to look at low hanging fruits and the only way to reduce maternal mortality is by education, advocacy and sensitisation,” she said.

Fasawe said that FCT had made health insurance free for pregnant women that resident in the territory.

“If you are pregnant, register for health insurance, and your delivery as well as the baby, for the first year of the child will be taken care of,” she said.

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Fasawe said that the territory was faced with death of Human Resources in health system and as such was transferring skills and training community health workers to mount those primary health centres.

“We have a lot of infrastructure in the FCT but we don’t have enough human resource to man the places.

“The project has supported us to train community people to give out the basics

“In terms of drugs, we are strengthening our drugs revolving system and we will make sure that at no point in time you go to any primary healthcare centres, they will tell you there are no drugs.

“We have drugs in almost all the centres that people access,” she said.

Dr Yakubu Mohammed, Ag. Executive Secretary, FCT Primary Health Care, said that the objective of the project was to strengthen health systems supporting Primary Health Care (PHC) services.

Mohammed said that it would also improve access to primary health care services and increase quality of PHC.

“This will help to implement priority PHC interventions, to strengthen the health leadership and ward-level health systems as well as strengthen engagement with the government.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that USAID IHP is USAID’s expanded technical support to Nigeria to rapidly scale-up proven reproductive, maternal, newborn and child health, nutrition and malaria (RMNCH+NM) interventions.

It targets improved access to and increased quality of primary health care service delivery.

IHP interventions had presence in Ebonyi, Bauchi, Kebbi, Sokoto states, as well as the FCT and supports health policies and systems at the federal level. (NAN)(www.nannews.ng)

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Edited by Emmanuel Afonne

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