National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA)

The National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA), says it has revitalised 4,000 Primary Healthcare Centres (PHCs) across the country, to enhance access to health services.

Dr Bulama Garuba, NPHCDA’s Director, Planning, Research and Statistics, disclosed this on Thursday in Abuja on the sidelines of the 3rd Annual Summit of the Legislative Network for Universal Health Coverage (UHC).

He said that 10,000 PHCs would be revitalised across the country by the agency under its PHCs Revitalisation Agenda

Bulama said that the agency took cognisance of the fact that PHCs were key to achieving Universal Health Coverage in the country.

According to him, the PHCs revitalisation would herald an unprecedented transformation in the health sector with impressive impact on UHC.

Bulama emphasised that the achievement of UHC was central to meeting Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

He said the NPHCDA would continue to adopt innovative strategies to drastically improve health indices in the country.

Also, Mrs Elsie Ilori, Director Surveillance and Epidemiology, Nigeria Center for Disease Control (NCDC), noted that infectious diseases have been featuring increasingly across the world, as such there was the need for Nigerians to be prepared to prevent, detect, manage and contain any epidemic.

The director said that with the support of the Federal Government and donor partners, the NCDC has identified some gaps in the country’s health security capacity and was working towards mitigating the gaps.

She disclosed that NCDC and the NPHCDA would continue to work closely with state ministries of health and other partners to prevent, detect and respond to yellow fever cases.

Ilori advised Nigerians to ensure they were vaccinated against such diseases.

On his part, Dr Olumide Okunola, Senior Health Specialist, Nutrition and Population, International Finance Corporation World Bank Group, told NAN, that with adequate precautions no epidemic would become pandemic.

Okunola said that Nigerians do not need to spend as much money as what was spent during the Ebola outbreak “if we prepare in building a resilient health sector that is able to withstand shocks.”

According to him, emergency preparedness must become a part of national and state budgets.

“The committees of health from states should note that and make sure it is reflected in their state budgets.

“Nigeria is surrounded by borders with several countries. Every second, somebody is crossing in and out of the country through those borders.

“Are we prepared for whatever illness the person might bring into the country?”