The Lagos State Government has inaugurated the Local Governments Health Authorities aimed at ensuring the co-ordination and integration of various health services within LGs and Local Council Development Areas in Lagos State.

Commissioner for Health, Dr. Jide Idris who inaugurated the LG Health Authorities in Lagos, Nigeria explained that the initiative marked another giant stride by the state government towards coordinated primary health care implementation in the state.

He pointed out that the responsibilities of the LG Health Authorities as provided for in the 2006 Health Sector Reform Law included setting out targets in line with the overall objectives of Primary Healthcare Centres, PHCs and taking into cognizance government’s policy directives as provided by the chairmen of the local governments in respect of economic, financial, operational and administrative programmes.

According to him, they were also charged with the responsibility of implementing broad policy measures on primary health care development plans, consideration of plans and budgetary proposals of the ward health committees as well as ensuring the coordination and integration of various health services within their jurisdiction.

The Commissioner opined that the appointment of members of the health authorities was based on merit, integrity and commitment to community development efforts, stressing that these attributes were expected to be step up by members towards the revitalization of PHC in their respective LGs and LCDAs.

“Today’s call is to draw our attention to the fact that all of us have a crucial role to play in addressing the challenges we face in the health sector. One of such challenges includes the ever increasing population, the rate of urbanization and its attendant consequences.

“This calls for urgent attention from all of us especially at the grass roots where these effects are much more evident. The Health Sector Reform Agenda is a response to the decay in the health system. The implementation of the agenda, which began under the last administration, has since been pursued with vigour by the present administration.

“Strategies adopted include infrastructural development at all tiers, including the primary healthcare, addressing the human resource for health, revitalization of PHC system, health sector financing, regulation and preventive health,” he stated.

“Revitalization of the primary health system is a major strategy, without which the entire system may collapse. Primary Health Care has been generally identified as the closest level of health care to the people, as the entry point to the National Health System, and as the key to an effective and efficient health care”, he added.

The Commissioner said that the PHC had also been specifically recognized and recommended as a critical tool and strategy towards the implementation of the Ward Minimum Health Care Package, WMCHP, and Integrated Maternal, Newborn and Child Health IMNCH, with a view to achieving the health components of the Millennium Development Goals MDGs.

Idris noted that over the years, the implementation of the PHC in the country and the State had been below acceptable level due to many challenges.