The Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire, says the Federal Government is committed to ensuring there is a functional primary healthcare centre in each political ward in the country, lamenting that the nation currently has barely one-third of the required PHCs.
In a series of tweets posted on the official Twitter handle of the Federal Ministry of Health @Fmohnigeria on Monday, Ehanire said the Federal Government was committed to addressing the challenge of PHC and bring healthcare closer to the people.
The minister, who was speaking in Abuja at a Ministerial Health Sector Media Engagement on Monday, said, “The Next Level Agenda Strategy aims to revitalise one PHC in each political ward.
“We have barely one-third of the required 9,855 PHCs, which define Universal Health Care, to bring health closer to the people and begin to address Nigeria’s horrendous health indices.
“The Health Sector Next Level Agenda also targets to reduce health-related gaps in Sustainable Development Goals by 60%”.
The health ministry, he said, intends to achieve its objectives through the implementation of the expanded PHC service, mandatory health insurance the operationalisation of the National Emergency Medical Service and Ambulance system.
He stressed that the ministry plays important role in President Buhari’s Next Level Agenda for human capital development and economic growth
“Our ministry is responsible for the National Health System and its performance. It provides strategic support to states local government areas, the private sector and development partners,” Ehanire said.
The minster, however, praised the National Primary Healthcare Development Agency for its performance, noting that the agency scored high in the push for polio eradication and raised the immunisation coverage from 42 per cent in 2014 to 67 per cent in 2019.
Ehanire also stated that the COVID-19 pandemic has brought more attention to the health systems of all countries, noting those respected and otherwise resilient health systems have been nearly brought to their knees by the sheer volume of patients they have to cater to.
“All countries will no doubt be reexamining their health systems which is why it has been said that the COVID-19 outbreak offers an opportunity to restructure, or even rebuild health systems.
“Nigeria’s health system has not fared so badly so far in the global COVID-19 outbreak, but we nonetheless have good reason to also examine our not-so-strong health system, which is why we are here gathered today,” the minister said.
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