Experts seek increased investment, digitisation of primary healthcare centres

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By Angela Atabo

Health experts have called for increased investment and digitisation of Primary Healthcare Centres(PHC) for quality service delivery.

Dr Chidjoke Kaduru, Public Health Physician at Corona Management Systems (CNS), made the call at a Stakeholders’ Validation Meeting on Assessing Primary Healthcare in Nigeria through a State Scoring System in Abuja.

The meeting organised in collaboration with Save the Children International (SCI)., is aimed at looking at the quality of PHCs in Nigeria and to seek ways for possible improvement.

Kaduru said the “One Campaign” group and other stakeholders came together to do the scorecard assessment around primary health care systems and their capacity to deliver services.

According to him, the objective of the assessment is to bring to limelight issues around PHC for the new administration that has shown keen interest in delivering an improved PHC system to navigate the system.

“The focus then for us, is to generate intelligence that can support that process as much as possible.

“That way we can also come back a year or two from now to say well we did provide some intelligence to support the process but how well have we fared ?.”

Kaduru said that the key things that were realised at the course of the assessment was that the primary health facilities did not have the capability at the moment to receive and manage funding well enough.

“We have to find ways of supporting them better around that and also find ways to hold them accountable for it.”

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Kaduru said there was a need to improve the involvement of communities with the primary health care system for accountability
because at the moment it is lacking.

He said that at the moment , primary healthcare facilities do not show any capabilities to take on technology and use it well.

“So we have to build from the ground up not just do on the surface things to say we are using technology.

” Otherwise we will not reap the benefits of the technology age you know for our health system. We also have to find ways of improving the community health worker landscape.

“The reality is that no matter how beautiful the infrastructure and the structures are, if the workers are not there to give people the services we will still be missing you know a lot. ”

Kaduru said that there was a need to improve infrastructure , like potable water, sleeping quarters, electricity in the health facility, those things are bare minimum and putting in a refrigerator to store some of the drugs in the cold chain.

He called for better investment from state governments as well to improve health and a deliberate digital health plan.

Also speaking, Nigeria Country Director of One Campaign, Stanley Achonu said members of the campaign visited three facilities in each Senatorial district of the country on assessment.

Achonu  said the next step is to finalise the report and share the findings with government .

He said the findings would be made public adding that objective is to set the baseline for the government and to influence policies.(NAN)

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Edited by Sadiya Hamza

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