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PHC service delivery: Zamfara worst performing State out of 18 poorly ones

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A report released today on Tuesday by ONE campaign in partnership with National Advocates for Health, Nigeria Health Watch, Public & Private Development Centre (PPDC), and other partners reveals that 18 states in the country are weak in primary healthcare service delivery.

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Also in the report, Zamfara state is said to be the worst performing state among the 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) in the provision of adequate primary healthcare services.

FCT, Enugu, Anambra, Ekiti and Delta states are the five top performing states in the country respectively.

The report which was unveiled at a stakeholders event in Abuja provides an in-depth and systemic review of the implementation of the Basic Health Care Provision Fund (BHCPF), compliance of the states with the National Health Act and National Health Policy, and a ranking of health system performance reveals the state of primary healthcare delivery across the 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory. adsbygoogle || []).push({});

The research also provides recommendations on how state governments should strengthen their fragile health systems, enhance the existing implementation of the BHCPF, and raise strategic and operational planning for health in order to promote access to and utilization of primary healthcare services.

In 2014, the National Health Act established the Basic Health Care Provision Fund (BHCPF) to address funding gaps hampering effective primary healthcare delivery across the country. The BHCPF comprises 1% of the federal government Consolidated Revenue Fund (CRF) and additional contributions from other funding sources.

Unveiling the report, the Chairman Senate Committee on Health, Senator Ibrahim Oloriegbe, stressed the need for the utilization of healthcare funds at all levels for the purpose to which they are meant for.

Senator Oloriegbe further noted that continuous oversight is key to ensuring that the Basic Health Care Provision Fund (BHCPF) works for Nigerians.

“We have recorded successes at the federal level because of the independence and the interdependence between the executive and the legislative arms of government and because the National Assembly has been able to perform its oversight functions. This must be replicated across the different state houses.

“It is also important for citizens to join in this advocacy and call on their state governments to release appropriate funds and ensure adequate monitoring of the funds to improve public health facilities, especially the primary health centers. We must ensure medical supplies and the required human resources are available”, he added.

Also speaking, Public Health Physician, Dr Chijioke Kaduru noted that governance and leadership can play a pivotal role in improving healthcare delivery in Nigeria.

He said the essence of the report is to reawaken the minds of Governors and health commissioners in various states on the need to pay more attention to primary healthcare services.

“What this report has helped show are the key areas that Governors and commissioners at state levels can react very quickly to, to help them improve and get the result that they need.

“We understand that there are some states who will tell us that they have improved but the result of this report was compiled in the forth quarter of last year. We are happy if state have already started reacting.

“The report is not to name and shame people but it is to show where there are gaps for all of us to work together to improve these gaps”, he said.

The ONE Campaign’s Nigeria Director, Stanley Achonu, said: “The burden of strengthening the healthcare systems and services lies heavily on governance and leadership. At all levels, the government needs to take responsibility as a building block of the health system, especially in system design, policy guidance, oversight, regulation, accountability, coalition building, monitoring, and enforcement.

“The success recorded with polio eradication, containment of Ebola and the COVID-19 pandemic has shown that Nigeria can deliver on critical health issues given the required political will and leadership commitment. We have to act quickly to avert primary healthcare collapse.”

As part of its recommendations, the report proposes that states should provide political leadership for establishing a State Health Insurance Agency, develop an electronic workforce registry at the state level, support management of human resources for health, and develop a health system-wide accountability and performance management framework.

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