Kebbi Government with support from the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the European Union has begun the process of implementing primary healthcare in its environs.
The Executive Secretary of the state Primary Health Care Development Agency (SPHCDA), Dr. Abubakar Kaoje, made this known in Birnin Kebbi on Wednesday.
Kaoje noted that primary healthcare under one roof would guarantee the needed efficiency in primary healthcare management and ensure better service delivery to women and children in the state.
“We have gotten the approval from the state Executive Council and we are working assiduously to make it happen.
“We have already established Local Government Health Authorities and begun migrating staffs to the SPHCDA in line with the stipulated guidelines.
“We have equally begun renovation and upgrading of 225 Primary Healthcare Centres, one per political wards out of the over 800 primary health centres in the state,” he said.
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The executive secretary added that UNICEF was supporting the renovation and equipping of 140 out of the 225 PHCs.
“Yes, there are challenges here and there, but with UNICEF and EU support, we are doing the best we can to ensure that we make it happen,” he said.
UNICEF Project Coordinator in the state, Dr. AbdulHafiz Ishawo, described the development as the outcome of sustained advocacy efforts of development partners driven by UNICEF.
Ishawo said that UNICEF and the European Union were supporting the state to take stock of the status of all PHCs in the state, determine what they are doing and the existing gaps.
“This is with a view to determining how to move the PHCs from where they are in terms of service delivery, to where they ought to be, as part of the requirement for the primary healthcare under one roof.
“This is being done under the Maternal, Newborn, Child Health and Nutrition (MNCHN) project, being supported by European Union and UNICEF,” he said.
The coordinator said that the MNCHN project was designed to strengthen primary healthcare and community resilience for improved maternal, newborn, child health and nutrition outcomes in Kebbi.
He added that the overall objective was to improve the nutrition and health status of women and children through a sustainable primary health care delivery system.
“The project also hopes to increase the proportion of poor, marginalised, rural women and children under-five years with increased access to, and effective utilisation of high impact health and nutrition interventions.
“It is expected that by 2020, the project would have improved the functionality of health service provision for health facility, outreach, and community-based services in 225 wards in Kebbi State.
“The project was also designed to strengthen coordination, policy, and institutional framework to scale up, sustain and replicate the MNCHN interventions,” Ishawo said.