Enugu State Governor, Dr. Peter Mbah has reiterated his administration’s commitment to strengthening the Primary HealthCare system and ensuring adequate healthcare service delivery to the citizenry, saying, the State Government will build 260 Primary HealthCare Centres across the state
He made this known, Saturday while addressing the gathering at the Basic Health Facility, Ogonogo Eji, Ndiuno Health Centre,Akpugo, Nkanu West local government area ,Enugu State.
The Governor said Primary HealthCare takes a considerable amount of his attention and time , hence the meeting on performance.
His words,” If something deserves your attention, time, that thing must be measured. Primary HealthCare takes a considerable amount of my attention and time, that’s why we came to talk about performance.’
He said his administration placed priority on the health sector as well as education, noting that,” outside the education sector the next sector that has taken so much part of the 2024 budget is health.
“We see the Primary HealthCare as the most important. When we look at all the indicators of Primary HealthCare, they all speak to access to Primary HealthCare, maternal care, children’s care. We needed to know where we stand. We recognized all our challenges. We are now able to address them.
“Primary HealthCare within the healthcare space is a critical one. We are going to be developing 260 Type Two Primary HealthCare centres in the state,” Governor Mbah said.
He added that there are 557 Primary HealthCare centres in the state and they will focus on developing world class healthCare centres.
Our strategy in that area is that rather than spread ourselves thinly across 557 Primary Healthcare Centres (PHCs),, we want to focus on consolidating our resources and developing 260 world class Type-2 PHCs because we want to provide 24-hour services in each PHC so that at any time, you would have access to quality primary health care in our rural communities across the state”, he stated.
Governor Mbah also explained that the administration was already addressing the state’s poor health workforce density, while equally paying attention to secondary healthcare.
“As part of our strategies, we are upgrading our nursing schools to colleges so that we can have more intakes and have more nurses and community health extension workers trained to man our PHC facilities.
“And as we are at the same time paying attention to secondary healthcare facilities. Our objective is to ensure that each local government gets a minimum of one world class secondary healthcare facility.
“Part of our strategy is also to deploy technology. We have now started the process of capturing, in an electronic form, all the reports of those that have access to the healthcare system so that we can have an electronic health management system.”
“We are also doing something in the universal health Insurance coverage. We have to begin to encourage our people to enrol. Just giving N1,000 every month would ensure that your ward has access to primary health care, which comes to N12,000 in a year. .
“So, we are going to do everything to ensure we continue to improve on our healthcare performance index; and we will not relent until we get to that point where every child, every mother, and every elderly person in this state would have access to primary health care We will not give up”, the governor concluded.
“We want to provide 24 hours service in our Primary HealthCare centres. As we are doing that , we are also mindful of what we have to upgrade our various health institutions. Recently, we have Colleges of Nursing, meaning we can have more in-takes. We need to scale, have training centres, upgrade then, create room for them to have more intakes. As we are doing that, we also pay attention to Secondary HealthCare facility. Each local government will have one . We will deploy technology. We have started the process of capturing those that have access to Primary HealthCare or secondary healthcare, to have the data “, Governor Mbah said.
He also spoke on the Universal Health Coverage ( UHC), noting that there was need to expand access to Universal Health Coverage. He said that they have the Universal HealthCare Agency and what they needed to do was to encourage people to adopt the form of spending One thousand naira monthly and Twelve thousand naira yearly to ensure their ward access Primary HealthCare.
“We are going to strengthen our institutions in the Primary HealthCare space , improve our workforce, so that our people can get access to Primary HealthCare. We will make sure that our people will have 100% access. That leads us to sanitation and hygiene. We are going to provide water, solar energy, quarters for staff. We are not going to loose focus in providing Primary HealthCare. We are going to monitor performance continuously”,Governor Mbah said.
In a brief remarks, the representative of the United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF), Chief of Field Office, Enugu, Juliet Chiluwe, commended Enugu state Government for the support given to the health sector, and for ensuring Universal health coverage for women and children.
“We are also impressed with the 260 proposed PHCs and UNICEF will support you.
“Your policies on healthcare and nutrition are commendable. We commend you for aspiring to make the state the best in the nation, and we are certain that with your support, we will win the leadership challenge”, Chiluwe said.
She appealed to the Governor to allocate adequate percentage of the state budget to the Health sector and monitor the performances.
In his goodwill message, the representative of the National Primary HealthCare Development Agency(NPHCDA) Dr.Chukwunwedu James, commended Governor Mbah for his support to the agency , both at the national and state levels. He assured continuous patnership of the Agency and the Enugu state Government. He appealed to the state government to ensure that the Health policy is achieved.
Prof Obi, Commissioner for health
In his speech, the Commissioner for Health, Prof. Emmanuel Ikechukwu Obi, assured the women that the new PHCs would reach every rural community, saying the state was doing well in the health sector because of Governor Mbah’s leadership.
” It is amazing that Enugu is already on the map of states doing well both nationally and internationally. Everyone is interested in Enugu because of the governor’s policies programmes in the health sector,” he said.
In her speech, the Executive Secretary, Enugu State Primary HealthCare Development Agency, Dr. Ifeyinwa Ani-Osheku thanked Governor Mbah for the support his administration has been giving to the health sector. She enumerated some of the successes recorded by the health sector since her assumption of office to include the fight against Cervical cancer program, the vaccination campaign which recorded 70% coverage, the release of fund to fight three different outbreaks, which recorded 100%, the proposed establishnent of 260 Type Two Primary HealthCare centres in all the 260 wards in the state , training of Nurses to manage obstetric and Childhood Emergence, inuaguration of 7-man committee to assess the progress of the Primary HealthCare in the Local Government areas among others.
A traditional ruler, Igwe Amushi Nwodo, spoke on behalf of the 12 Akpugo communities and other royal fathers.He commended Governor Mbah for the good works he was doing in the state
On her part, a community woman leader, Mrs. Chinyere Ani, expressed satisfaction with the determination of the Mbah administration to turn around the health sector in rural communities in the state and pledged their total support to the state Government.
They pledged to secure health equipment and facilities that would be installed or built in their communities.
Earlier, the chairman of Nkanu West local government area, Uchenna Ejim thanked Governor Mbah for his good works in the state, saying his visit to Nkanu West, showed he likes Nkanu West. Ejim added that they, at Nkanu West, subscribed to Governor Mbah’s vision.
Highlight of the occasion was the inspection of facilities at the health centre by Governor Mbah. He was accompanied by the Special Adviser to the Governor on Health, Dr. Yemi Jaye, the Commissioner for Health, Professor Emmanuel Ikechukwu Obi, the Executive Secretary,Enugu Primary HealthCare Development Agency,Dr. Ifeyinwa Ani-Osheku, some traditional rulers, ,members of the House of Assembly representing Nkanu West and East constituencies, Hon. Ilo Aniagu and Hon. Okechukwu Mbah, among others
Others were Chairman of State ALGON and Chairman of Nkanu East LGA,Sydney Okechukwu Edeh, Chukwudi Nnadozie,(Uzo-Uwani L.G.A) Hon. Barr. Obiora Obeagu(Isi-Uzo L.G.A), and Livinus Anike( EnugubEast L.G.A),and the Political Adviser to the Governor, Hon. Frank Anioma among others.
Author: Maureen Ikpeama