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Going Back To Primary Health Care; One Primary Health Care Center per Ward – Implementation of the Alma Ata Concept

On Monday 30th, a team led by the UNICEF Representative, Ms. Jean Gough met with Nigeria House of Representatives and the Health Committees to discuss improved health care through One Primary Health Care Centre per Ward. The Health Committees meeting was Co-Chaired by Hon. Chike Okafor, Chairman House Committee on Health Services and Hon. Betty Apiafi, Chairperson, House Committee on Health Institutions. The meeting was graced by the Hon. Minister of Health, Hon. Minister of State in Health, the Permanent Secretary Ministry of Health and senior directors from the Ministry. UNICEF Chief of Health Dr. Aboubacar Kampo speaking at the meeting in Abuja on Monday, 30th, said the Primary Health Care per ward approach is a practical way of delivering Free Health Care to a majority of Nigerians.

Health care in Nigeria is provided through about 9,423 Primary Health Care Centres and another estimated 30,440 Primary Health Care clinics and Health posts. These network of facilities are expected to provide ward minimum care package. Hospital care is provided in a total of about 775 general hospitals and about 56 tertiary hospitals. There is expected to be a functional referral system in between the different levels of care but in effect a lot of by passing of the referral system takes place due to existence of many non-functional PHC facilities.

Speaking at the meeting, UNICEF Chief of Health Dr.Aboubacar Kampo stated that, this approach will bring focus back to the functionality of health system by spot lighting a few well selected PHC facilities for integrated service delivery. It will be easier to monitor, track and build a health management system around a few well selected health facilities. The selected PHC facilities will have resources and capacity to support functioning of Ward Development Committee,Village Development Committees and related community linkages and participation.

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