WHO lauds Nigeria over primary health centres

Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General
Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has commended the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration in Nigeria for initiating the revitalisation of Primary Health Care (PHC) facilities in the country.

The WHO Director-General, Dr Tedros Ghebreyesus, made the commendation when he visited one of the revitalised PHCs at Kuchigoro, FCT-Abuja, on Wednesday.

It would be recalled that the Buhari launched the Kuchigoro PHC as a pilot of the revitilisation project on Jan. 3, 2017.

Ghebreyesus explained that the present government’s effort to revamp PHCs was in line with WHO’s programme to ensure every citizen access healthcare. The director-general said that he was glad that Nigeria had recorded this milestone which he described as a policy in the right direction.

“I am glad to be in Nigeria and visited this PHC, what Nigeria is doing now is in line with global practice.

“I am also happy that the project is focusing on mobilisation which is commendable; a project of this nature can not succeed without involving the people; and having the community as the owner is the right thing to do,” he said.

The director-general urged the government to speed up in the project to cover large parts of the country so that the impact could be felt.

He stated that WHO was a strong partner to Nigeria and would continue to support the country to deliver quality health services to the people.

Similarly, the WHO’s Regional Director in Africa, Dr Matshidiso Moeti, said that Buhari’s effort in advancing healthcare in the country was commendable. Moeti said that the government’s programme was in line with the vision of WHO in ensuring every citizen had access to healthcare.

“I am glad that Nigeria is investing in the health of the people. If Nigeria succeeds, other countries in Africa continent will succeed.

“WHO will provide technical support and mobilise other partners to support the revitilisation project,” she said.

The Executive Director of Nigeria’s National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA), Dr Faisal Shuaib, said that Universal Health Coverage (UHC) agenda remained the most comprehensive human rights vision that should be pursued in this generation.

Shuaib said that over the years, there have been decay in PHC infrastructure and system across the country. He said that the present administration was committed to achieve UHC using three inter-related health systems policy areas including service delivery, financing and governance.

The executive director disclosed that recently the government deployed more than 1,000 midwives to health facilities across the country through the refocused midwives service scheme.

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