By Ibrahim Hassan
The Commissioner of Health in Kaduna State, Dr. Amina Mohammed Baloni, has said that plans are on ground to provide more ambulances at their Primary Health Care facilities, PHCs, while the state government would clamp down on unequipped and unregistered private schools of health in the state.
She said they would reactivate their partnership with the National Union of Road Transport Workers in transporting emergency patients to facilities across the state.
She spoke at a one-day interactive forum on Tuesday organized by the Kaduna Maternal Accountability Mechanism (KADMAM), in collaboration with the Kaduna State Ministry of Health and supported by Save the Children International, Partnership to Engage, Reform and Learn (PERL), and other development partners.
The theme of the interactive forum was ‘Improving Health Care Delivery Through Basic Health Care Provision Fund. Implementation’.
She said the unavailability of ambulances in the PHCs was still not the only impediment of transportation of emergency patients to health centres, but also the incapacity to convey many patients who need health care to the hospital at the same time.
She, therefore, called on members and community leaders to volunteer whenever the need arises to convey patients for medical care.
“We have plans on ground to buy many more ambulances and to repair the ones on ground at our PHCs”, she said.
She said the state government would clamp down on unequipped and unregistered private schools of health in the state.
“We are reviewing our existing laws and working with all the authorities like local governments, education, professional bodies, tax authorities for us to know if actually those operating private schools of health are even qualified and meet the criteria.”
“We are having series of meetings with the concerned authorities and professional bodies to check the list of people they accredited and then to cross check with those that have registered with us”.
“We have closed down some of the schools sometime ago because they did not meet the criteria, you can’t run a school and later come to say you want to register, you must seek and meet the criteria before opening the school,” she said.
Earlier, KADMAM has identified unavailability of means of transportation and adequate health personnel as factors posing challenges to Primary Health Care facilities in the state.
While presenting a scorecard at the interactive forum,a member of KADMAM, Mr. Spencer Ideva said their investigations showed that 78.5 per cent of Primary Healthcare Centres (PHCs) in the state has no ambulance.
According to him,form their investigations and findings which cut across 23 local government areas in Kaduna on 80 PHCs out of the 255, only 21.5 per cent of the PHCs had ambulance.
“The unavailability of the ambulances in the PHCs had caused complications and sometimes death of pregnant women who were unable to be transported to the PHCs on time during emergencies,” he said.
He said that 93 per cent of the PHCs across the state had toilets, 27.1 per cent had accommodation for midwives for emergencies especially at night and 84.6 per cent had good sources of drinking water.
He, however, commended the Kaduna State Government for their continued efforts in addressing the major problems in the state PHCs and urged them to do more in making primary health care services affordable and accessible.