By Chioma Obinna
LAGOS — Nigerian Medical Association, NMA, yesterday , urged government to revamp the nation’s Primary Healthcare Centres, PHCs, with a view to making healthcare services available to people at the grass roots.
The body also advised Nigerians to place premium on their health by going for periodic medical checks.
Making the call during a free medical mission organised by the body of doctors, NMA, for workers in Lagos State, Chairman, NMA, Dr. Francis Faduyile, said revamping primary healthcare had become necessary as the incidence of non-communicable diseases had become a public health concern, leading to untimely deaths.
He maintained that resuscitation of PHCs would guarantee quality healthcare services for Nigerians at the grassroots, saying “breakdown of healthcare services at PHCs in the country has led to unnecessary congestion of patients at secondary and tertiary centres, thereby resulting in the drastic reduction in quality time spent on each patient during consultation.
“Nigeria can only eradicate communicable and vaccine-preventable diseases if it strengthens the nation’s PHC.”
He said: “A strong PHC system is central to improving the health of all and reduces health inequalities among different groups. It covers a wide range of health and preventive services-health education, counselling, disease prevention and screening received in the community from a general medical practitioner or practicing nurse.
“The services are coordinated in a way that more specialised services can be provided when needed.”
Continuing he noted that the medical mission was aimed at offering free medical care to Lagosians who did not have the time to seek medical checks, attend to pressing medical problems, especially from indigents who cannot afford the cost of medical treatments.