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FG set aside ₦260bn to revamp PHCs in Nigeria

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By Usman Oladimeji

Government’s focus is to ensure top-notch healthcare services for all.

The Coordinating Minister of Health and Social Welfare, Ali Pate announced in Abuja that the federal government has allocated N260 billion towards the rejuvenation of Primary Healthcare Centres (PHCs) nationwide. This was revealed during the Ministerial Sectoral Briefings held by the Federal Ministry of Information and National Orientation to celebrate President Bola Tinubu’s first year in office. According to him, the decision aligns with President Bola Tinubu’s directive. The funds are accessible at the state level with financing from the International Development Association (IDA) and the Basic Health Care Provision Fund (BHCPF).

Pate said the government’s commitment to prioritizing primary healthcare serves as the cornerstone of a robust healthcare system. The ultimate goal is to guarantee that all Nigerians, no matter where they live, can receive top-notch healthcare services. Through enhancing these primary health centres, Nigeria can offer vital health services in closer proximity to individuals, ultimately easing the strain on higher-level healthcare facilities, he explained. This financial boost would help tackle various issues like insufficient Infrastructure, scarcity of necessary medical equipment, and inadequate staffing in primary healthcare facilities.

Health ministry introduced a new program on cancer.

With this funding, states will have the ability to upgrade current facilities, acquire essential medical supplies, and hire more healthcare professionals to address the growing need for healthcare services. Mr. Pate also mentioned the health ministry’s recent introduction of a new program focused on enhancing Cancer treatment by making targeted medical advancements in Oncology. The plan involves setting up fresh oncology and nuclear Medicine hubs, improving current facilities, and introducing advanced medical Technology at tertiary institutions involved in the program.

Funds have been budgeted for the purchase of cutting-edge Cancer Treatment equipment in the 2024 budget of the Nigerian Sovereign Investment Authority (NSIA). Pate detailed the plan to install state-of-the-art medical facilities in six chosen teaching hospitals, each one representing a different geopolitical zone. The equipment will consist of linear accelerators, iridium brachytherapy machines, computed tomography simulators, Positron Emission Tomography (PET) scanners, and cyclotrons. The minister announced that there are currently 10 ongoing projects aimed at improving healthcare services in various geopolitical regions.

120,000 frontline health workers to be trained by September.

He further explained that the Presidential ‘Unlocking Healthcare Value-Chain’ Initiative aims to bring in billions of dollars of new investments to transform the country’s healthcare system. This initiative involves a collaborative effort across different ministries to revamp the health product Manufacturing, Logistics, technology, Retail, provider facilitation, and health payer reform within a specific timeframe. The ministry has revealed plans to train 120,000 frontline health workers nationwide by September with the help of specialists. Moreover, 2,400 healthcare professionals will be hired to offer services in rural regions, as stated by the minister.

In a related development, the World Health Organization (WHO) has joined forces with the Private Sector Health Alliance of Nigeria (PSHAN) to enhance primary Healthcare in Nigeria with the implementation of the Adopt-A-Healthcare Facility Program (ADHFP). This collaboration signifies a significant step forward in enhancing healthcare services in the nation. Similarly, the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA) has recently unveiled plans to rejuvenate primary health facilities across Nigeria by 2024, aiming to enhance healthcare accessibility and quality nationwide. This initiative prioritizes improving facilities and services for all Nigerians, particularly those in rural and underserved areas, reflecting NPHCDA’s commitment to transformative healthcare objectives.

Related Article: WHO, PSHAN partner to revamp PHC in Nigeria

Recall that the federal government has also set out strategy on improving the efficiency of the existing 8,809 Primary Healthcare Centres (PHC) across the country. In addition to this, they are planning to double the number of PHCs to 17,618 by 2027 in order to reach Universal Health Coverage (UHC) goals. A total amount of $2.5 billion will be raised allocated for this initiative to improving the country’s primary healthcare services to achieve successful results between the years 2024 and 2026.


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